Thursday July 2,2015 : CHERRY GROUP ACQUIRES GERMAN-FACING ONLINE CASINO BUSINESS
Malta-based Almor Holding Limited targets German-speaking markets
The Swedish online gambling group Cherry AB announced Thursday that it has acquired 71 percent of the shares of the Malta-based company Almor Holding Limited, an online casino business specialising in German-speaking markets.
The effective date of the acquisition is July 1 2015 and Cherry AB will consolidate Almor within its group accounts from July 1 but have the right to earnings from May and June in the acquired balances, a company statement reveals.
Cherry expects Almor to report positive EBITDA in both May and June as well as the remaining part of 2015, contributing to Cherry’s Online Gaming division, which expects to report a positive EBITDA in Q3 2015.
Almor’s principal brands Sunmaker, Sunnyplayer and Kingplayer have established a strong position in their core markets since the business launched in 2011, offering a large range of online casino games and a sportsbook.
These brands had over 55,000 active customers in the first 5 months of 2015 and a registered customer database of approximately 355,000.
"We believe that the business is the largest operator of Merkur Slots, developed by Edict eGaming, which are amongst the most popular slots titles in Almor’s core markets," a company spokesman said Thursday.
Fredrik Burvall, president and CEO of Cherry, said that the group has developed a strategic position in Germany, where it already holds all currently available online casino licenses, including the Schleswig Holstein authority.
"With this acquisition, Cherry immediately becomes a major online casino player in this major European market. In the short-term this enables Cherry to grow significantly and to strengthen the Online Gaming business division. The deal gives Cherry a larger and more significant presence in continental Europe, contributing positively to both our margins and our growth prospects," he said.
Almor was founded and continues to be managed by online gaming industry veterans with over 15 years’ experience in the sector, having held senior roles at Sportingbet, Full Tilt and CasinoClub.
The management team will retain a significant shareholding in Almor and will continue to run the business with a focus on international expansion of its core brands, as well as supporting the running of Cherry’s existing German business.
Alexander Knopf, a director of Almor, said: “Cherry’s international reach, multiple licenses, flexible technology platform and in-house game development will be highly complementary to our local market knowledge, established brands and customer base.”
The Cherry Group statement reveals that the group expects the acquisition will enable Cherry to increase both revenue and profit, as well as giving the company a stronger position in the German- speaking market.
Almor’s net gaming revenue for 2014 was Euro 11.1 million, with a profit of Euro 1.2 million. Since 1 January 2015, Almor has incurred VAT charges at 19 percent, however, this has been offset by a strong trading performance, generating net gaming revenue of Euro 5.9 million and an EBITDA of Euro 800,000 in the first five months of 2015.
The purchase price for 71 percent of the shares in Almor Holding Limited is Euro 4.6 million, and Cherry has the right to buy the remaining part of Almor within the next four years and eight months.
Payment of the initial purchase price will be made 50 percent in cash and 50 percent in Cherry shares. Further purchase consideration can be made in Cherry shares or in cash at Cherry’s discretion.