April 2018 has been a particularly important month for the global betting/gambling sectors with some meaningful acquisitions taking place.
This results represent an evidence of the continuing growth and consolidation of the industries globally.
The main actor was The Stars Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TSG; TSX: TSGI), the Canadian provider of technology-based products and services in the global gaming and interactive entertainment industries, which announced the close of some expansion deals in the UK and Australia.
The deals include:
– in the UK, the acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming from CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc (LSE: SKY) in a cash and stock transaction valued at $4.7 billion, this resulting in the world’s largest publicly listed company in online gaming with an increasing exposure to sports betting an extended footprint in regulated markets, particularly within the United Kingdom, which the world’s largest regulated online gaming market, the development of sports betting as a second low-cost customer acquisition channel, complementing its core poker business and enabling more effective cross-sell to players across multiple verticals.
– in Australia, the acquisition of an additional 18% equity interest in CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited. In addition, CrownBet completed the acquisition of William Hill Australia Holdings Pty Ltd. These acquisitions result in the company owning 80% of the combined businesses and the creation of an operator rivaling to the top two sportsbook operators in Australia, the world’s second largest regulated sports betting market.
Remaining in Australia, PlayUp Australia Pty Limited, an operational fantasy sports, sports betting and online gaming platform, acquired Sydney-based ClassicBet in a deal designed to expand PlayUp’s annual gross gaming turnover by more than AUD$200M.
The acquisition forms a key part of PlayUp’s growth strategy, which is to acquire and roll up multiple Australian wagering and global fantasy sports businesses into a single group that is seeking to be dual listed on the ASX and NASDAQ.
The company recently acquired the Draftstars fantasy sports platform from CrownBet.
Coming back to Europe, gambling software company Playtech plc (LSE:PTEC) is to buy Snaitech S.p.A., an Italian gambling and gaming company, for a total $1.05 billion. Founded in 1999, Playtech provides software and solutions to regulated operators (online, retail and mobile), land-based casino groups, government sponsored organizations such as lotteries and new entities opening operations in newly-regulated markets. The acquisition will help the company, which has in total c.5,000 employees across 17 countries, to establish a strong presence in Italy.
Finally, Catena Media plc, an online performance marketing company listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Mid Cap with approx. 280 employees in the US, Australia, Japan, Serbia, UK, Sweden and Malta, where the headquarters are located, made two acquisitions, including:
– GG.co.uk, a UK-based horse racing brand, and
– ParisSportifs.com, a sports betting site in France.