Monday June 29,2015 : BETSSON ACQUIRES GEORGIA'S EUROPE-BET
Acquisition gives Betsson a 30 percent share in a growing market.
The Swedish online gambling group Betsson AB announced Monday that it has acquired privately owned land and online gaming operator Europe-Bet based in the eastern European nation of Georgia.
The deal gives Betsson access to the growing Georgian market, making it the second largest local online gaming operator in Georgia with close to 30 percent market share, and strengthening its strategic market position in the region.
"Europe-Bet has established a strong brand with a competitive multi-product offering in the locally regulated market of Georgia. Together with Betsson's technology, a foundation for profitable and sustainable growth within and outside Georgia is created", Magnus Silfverberg, CEO and president of Betsson commented in a company statement.
Silferberg revealed that in 2014, Europe-Bet revenues amounted to USD 52.4 million, with online operations accounting for US$ 40.8 million, and the remainder from land-based activity.
The online business is mainly Sportsbook driven, which accounted for 44 percent of total revenue in 2014.
Total EBIT amounted to US$ 20 million, of which US$ 17.9 million was attributed to online operations. The EBIT margin was 38.1 percent and the company has delivered solid double digit growth in the last years.
Betsson acquired the company from a group of entrepreneurs, and some of the founders will continue in strategic management positions. Betsson has also retained other key employees to continue to operate the business.
The initial purchase consideration is US$ 50 million, which corresponds to 2.5 times EBIT in 2014.
In addition to the initial purchase consideration, a remaining amount of maximum US$ 35 million may become payable after one year if the gambling regulation in Georgia remains unchanged. This implies a maximum total purchase consideration of US$ 85 million, which corresponds to 4.3 times EBIT for 2014.
The Betsson statement reveals that the acquisition has been financed through a renewal of a credit facility amounting to Euro 35 million, as well as a new credit facility of SEK 700 million. These facilities are both revolving credit facilities.
Closing of the deal is expected to take place during July.