posted 3/9/11 : Alliance with Cogetech creates a formidable on and offline Italian gambling group
A merger between Italian betting group SNAI and the Cogetech group should transform both companies and create a strong offline and online sports betting presence, according to reports in the Italian daily newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.
The newspaper spoke with Andrea Bonomi, president of Investindustrial, a company that partnered with Palladio Finanziaria to acquire a 50.68 percent interest in SNAI two weeks ago following protracted negotiations.
Bonomi revealed that the strategy was for SNAI to become “the big one” in sports betting, and to be a major force in video lottery terminals (VLTs) as well. There are also plans to enhance the company's offerings in online poker and bingo, expanding SNAI activities far beyond its traditional involvement in racing and football betting.
The merged SNAI-Cogetech group will provide strong competition for rivals Sisal and Lottomatica in the Euro 48 billion Italian market, the newspaper noted.
Last year Sisal made a bid for SNAI which was reportedly carrying a debt burden of some Euro 250 million. Earlier still, SNAI was also a target for a British-French consortium made up of Bridgepoint and Axa Private Equity in a deal which collapsed at an advanced stage of negotiations. SNAI instead decided to re-finance its debts through a bond sale.