Deal could grow by hundreds of millions

Entain plc, the parent company of partypoker, bwin, Ladbrokes, and many more gambling brands, has agreed to acquire BetEnt B.V., trading under the name, from Sports Entertainment Media B.V. for up to €850 million.

Entain will initially pay €300 million in cash when the deal is completed and what it calls a “balancing payment” in 2023 based on BetCity’s performance in fiscal year 2022. Then, one contingent payment will be made in early 2024, based on 10x BetCity’s EBITDA for 2023, minus any payments that have already been made.

A final contingent payment of €50 million will be made “on delivery of synergies and successful migration to the Entain Platform.”

All told, Entain expects to end up paying €450 million for BetCity, though that could balloon to a maximum of €850 million, depending on BetCity’s performance.

“We are delighted that BetCity is joining Entain and are excited by the significant opportunities in the newly regulated Dutch market,” said Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen in Tuesday’s announcement. “This acquisition will provide customers with an even better experience as we combine BetCity’s local expertise and brand alongside Entain’s market leading, customer focused platform. This transaction further underpins our growth strategy of operating in attractive regulated markets. We look forward to working with Melvin and the BetCity team.”

“Together we will be well-placed to maintain a strong market position in the Dutch market for the coming years,” said BetCity CEO Melvin Bostelaar. “Entain’s market leading platform, technology, established brands and global scale provides a fantastic opportunity to expand and enrich our customer offering.”

Entain continues to make moves

This is Entain’s second major acquisition in two months. In April, the company bought Canadian betting operator Sports Interaction for CAD$300m, aiming to establish a foothold in the quickly-expanding Canadian betting market, particularly in Ontario.

Though its corporate name is not well known to customers, Entain’s brands are. As mentioned, it owns partypoker and many more gambling brands, but the one that is really making waves in the United States is BetMGM, jointly created and owned by Entain and MGM Resorts International. In Entain’s first quarter trading update, the company said that BetMGM is a solid number two operator with a 24% market share in the states in which it operates and is the leading iGaming (read: online casino) operator with 29% market share.

At the time, it was live in 23 markets and added Ontario in early April. Entain expects BetMGM to have positive EBITDA in 2023.

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