888 buys Wink Bingo
12/22/09 – Online bingo business Wink Bingo.com, which operates on 888.com's Dragonfish network, has been sold by owners Daub Limited to 888.com for GBP 59.7 million.
Announcing the sale this week, 888.com chief executive Gigi Levy said: "We are delighted to announce the Wink Bingo acquisition as an expansion of our B2C online Bingo footprint in the lucrative UK market. The transaction is financially attractive and will be earnings enhancing.
"The Wink team has a proven track record of excellence in marketing, CRM and execution and will be a great addition to our growing Bingo business."
888 will pay an initial GBP 11 million to Daub on completion, followed by further payments based on performance and set between five and six times the businesses EBITDA in the year to March 31, 2011. The earn-out payment is expected to be made during the second quarter of 2011 and is capped at GBP 59.7 million.
Wink Bingo had revenue of GBP 15 million and pretax profit of GBP 1.3 million in the 11 months to November 30. As at 30 November 2009 Wink Bingo and its subsidiaries had gross assets of GBP 1.6 million.
Launched in early 2008, Wink Bingo currently has over 60 000 active players [as at October 2009], making it one of the most popular sites for online bingo. The firm runs several online bingo networks including Wink Bingo, Posh Bingo and Bingo Fabulous.
The transaction marks a further expansion of 888’s B2C emerging offering segment, which grew by an impressive 99 percent during the first three quarters of 2009.
888.com used the opportunity to issue a trading update, reporting current trading has remained strong and in line with expectations. A spokesman said that the company has developed new gaming products such as bingo to help offset the impact of losing half of its sales income when online gambling was made illegal in the United States two years ago.
Bingo is now the fastest growing area of its business, and the market has grown rapidly in Britain while traditional land bingo club operators have struggled.
The spokesman said that the company is confident on its prospects in 2010. Market expectations for full-year pretax profit currently range between GBP 35 and 39 million with the consensus at GBP 37 million, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of eleven analysts.