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Better Collective completes acquisition of remaining shareholding in RotoGrinders Network

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Better Collective reflects on the initiatives from the ongoing UK Gambling Act review and expects limited to no financial impact
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Driven by significant potential synergy upside and strong US business growth, Better Collective, a leading global sports betting media group, has decided to complete the acquisition of the remaining 40% share stake in the US based RotoGrinders Network at a total price of 33 mEUR. Better Collective acquired its original 60% share stake in Rotogrinders Network in 2019.

The Transaction
The acquisition of the remaining 40% of the shares will be paid through a 22 mEUR cash consideration and the remaining part in shares or cash. Both components will be transferred no later than December 31, 2021. This brings the expected transaction price for 100% of the shares in RotoGrinders Network to a total of 51 mEUR, equivalent to 7.5x the expected 2021 EBITDA. The purchase price of the remaining shares is dependent on financial performance in 2021 and the final price will be adjusted accordingly once financial results for 2021 have been announced. Better Collective and the selling shareholders had mutual options to buy and sell the shares in the period 2022-2024, however the decision has now been made to accelerate the purchase and complete it in one transaction.

Better Collective US will be further strengthened
The decision to accelerate the remaining share purchase is fuelled by the strong growth in RotoGrinders and the entire US business. The full acquisition will provide a strong platform for future growth, supported by underlying US market growth and synergies between RotoGrinders and the other BC US assets that now can be fully realised. Since Better Collective acquired the initial 60% in May 2019, RotoGrinders has seen significant growth within sports betting as well as daily fantasy sports (DFS). Sports betting is driven by sportshandle.com and the usbets.com network, whereas DFS is driven through the leading US DFS brand, RotoGrinders.com. Since the initial share acquisition, the following growth rates have been recorded:

  • 2021 revenue more than doubled since 2019 (2.2x), based on a 47% compound annual growth rate
  • 2021 EBITDA is 4.4x higher than 2019, growing at a 109% compound annual growth rate

The strong growth is expected to be accelerated further, both as a consequence of more states regulating online sports betting and due to synergies between the RotoGrinders Network and other Better Collective assets, such as Fantasy Labs (DFS), Action Network, vegasinsider.com and Scores And Odds. Synergies are of both product and commercial nature. The DFS and other subscription based assets (such as Action Network and VegasInsider) will continue to be key revenue generators throughout the US, also in states where sports betting remains to be regulated.  The US sports betting market is, according to Vixio, expected to grow from a Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) of ~$2.5bn in 2021 to ~$5.8bn by 2023. By 2030 the market is expected to exceed $40bn GGR. Five of seven of the original founders and shareholders of the RotoGrinders Network, will remain employed in Better Collective and two will continue in advisory roles.

Financial Reporting
The difference between the new estimated purchase price of the shares and the contingent liability recorded in the balance sheet as of June 30, 2021 is  11.5 mEUR and will be disclosed under Special Items in the Profit and Loss account in the Q3 2021 report in accordance with IFRS. The transaction has no impact on the financial guidance for 2021.

Marc Pedersen, CEO of Better Collective US, says:
“We are pleased to settle the full acquisition of the RotoGrinders Network earlier than originally planned. Since the initial acquisition, we have been impressed with the RotoGrinders team and we are excited to now welcome them to the broader Better Collective family and pursue all synergies to the fullest. Furthermore, we are pleased to keep the now previous shareholders in Rotogrinders engaged in Better Collective with the opportunity to benefit from their competences more widely in the organisation.”

Cal Spears, CEO of Rotogrinders, says:
“Joining Better Collective a few years back helped us fully unlock the potential of the RotoGrinders network. We’re proud to announce that our significant growth has led to an accelerated acquisition and that our team of 50+ will be fully integrated into Better Collective US going forward. All seven of the original RotoGrinders network shareholders and co-founders are now assuming full time or advisory roles. Better Collective is perfectly positioned for US growth and we’re excited to help realise its potential.“

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Gaming Innovation Group – Mandatory notification of trade

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Gaming Innovation Group – Minutes from Annual Meeting of Shareholders
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Mikael Riese Harstad, Chairman of the Board and primary insider of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.

(GiG), has today transferred 864,403 shares in GiG to a life insurance policy with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC with himself as the sole policy holder.

In addition, Helena Riese Harstad, a close associate of Mikael Riese Harstad, has today transferred 477,733 shares in GiG to a life insurance policy with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC with herself as the sole policy holder.

After these transactions, Harstad and close associates owns no shares directly, but hold 1,342,136 shares through life insurance policies with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC.

For further information, contact:
Tore Formo, Group CFO, [email protected] +47 916 68 678

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

 

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Industry News

Clarion Gaming and ExCeL London plan for the migration of iGB L!VE 2025 to the heart of igaming

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Clarion Gaming is advancing preparations for the migration of iGB L!VE to London in July 2025 establishing a roadmap of activities in partnership with the senior team at ExCeL London which will host the leading global event.

The latest meeting between the two organisations featured:

  • iGB L!VE Portfolio Director Naomi Barton,
  • Clarion Gaming Managing Director Stuart Hunter,
  • Head of Operations Richard Logan and
  • Head of Marketing Jody Frost with the senior team from ExCeL led by the venue’s
  • Chief Commercial Officer Simon Mills.

Expanding on the meeting Naomi Barton said: “This was the second senior level planning meeting that we have held with our colleagues at ExCeL London in order to move the home of the igaming community to a city which is the heart of the igaming industry in a country which is igaming’s largest market.

“The roadmap is being created in order to anticipate industry needs, address pain points and to exceed the expectations of customers. The migration of what is already a top performing Tier One igaming event is set against the backdrop of iGB L!VE’s 5-year growth plan which is focused on delivering 35,000 visitors and over 550 exhibitors and sponsors by 2029.

“Our vision is to harness the tremendous momentum created by the iGB L!VE brand and to take the event to a whole new level in a new venue, and a new exceptionally well-connected global home in the city of London.

“ExCeL London has a fantastic track record of helping events to fulfil their potential, and all of the building blocks are in place for iGB L!VE and its customers to accelerate their businesses to new heights in London.

She added: “Placing our customers at the heart of everything that we do is central plank to the iGB L!VE growth strategy, and the roadmap for 2025 is underpinned by a clear customer-focused programme that will ensure maximum cost-effectiveness as well as global growth for all of our stakeholders.

“We will be using July’s edition of iGB L!VE not only to reflect and celebrate our time in Amsterdam and say thank you to our fantastic partners for many years RAI Amsterdam, but also enable our vendors and customers to secure their presence at ExCeL London in 2025.”

 

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Paf’s results for 2023

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The Nordic gaming company Paf’s annual report for 2023 shows that it has been a good year which means a good sum of Paf funds for society. Paf’s published customer segments show more sustainable revenue in the past year. The Paf board gets a new member.

The Paf Group’s revenue for 2023 increased from €165.7 million to €177.1 million, an increase of 7%. The growth in revenue results in an increase in profit from €44.8 million to €55.1 million, which is a record for Paf.

“We can be happy and proud with the past year. We have gained a larger customer base and the number of active customers has increased by 27%, which explains some of it, but we are also well aware that the temporarily low gaming taxes in Finland have helped the result,” says Christer Fahlstedt, CEO.

Paf’s result is the best result in Paf’s 57-year history and an increase of 23% compared to the previous year. However, gaming taxes in a number of countries will be increased in 2024, which will create different conditions going forward. In Finland, the temporary reduction of the lottery tax has increased from 5% to 12%, in Sweden the gambling tax will increase from 18% to 22%, in Estonia from 5% to 6% and in Latvia from 10% to 12%.

“The trend of increasing gaming taxes will continue, and we expect to see more much-needed demands for increased responsible gaming measures. The changes will result in reduced profitability and many operators will find it more difficult. But Paf is well prepared for the times ahead,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

31.4 million euros in Paf funds
The annual distribution of Paf funds will be €31.4 million. Paf funds are used for the benefit of society, including a number of third sector organisations that work to promote society in social activities, culture, youth work, sports, environmental activities and more.

“It’s undeniably great that Paf is achieving a great result, allowing us to distribute a total of €31.4 million in the form of Paf funds. The employees have done a phenomenal job over the past year, and the Board would like to thank all Paf employees who have made this possible,” says Jan-Mikael von Schantz, Chairman of the Paf Board.

Sustainable entertainment
In 2023, Paf chose to invest heavily in responsible gaming, and the loss limit for all customers was lowered to EUR 17,500 per year. In addition, in spring 2023, Paf introduced a specific loss limit for young players aged 18–19, €1,800 per year. In spring 2024, Paf chose to lower the loss limit for young people aged 20–24. Young people of that age already had a lower loss limit at Paf but it was further reduced from €10,000 to €8,000 per year.

“This is an important continuation of the direction we are striving to take at Paf for our responsible gaming. Now young customers can only gamble with us for sums that are at more sustainable levels and within the framework of the customer segment we have defined ourselves as the green segment,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

Paf’s customer segments 2017–2023
The published table shows the development of gaming in different customer segments from 2017 until 2023. The red segment for customers who have lost more than €30,000 in one year is at zero in recent years, as Paf’s loss limits stop large losses. The white segment shows the number of players who ended the year in profit.

“It is encouraging to see that we have once again increased the green revenues with more sustainable revenues by a full 7.6%. It is possible to change an outdated business model in the industry and we will continue our strive to be a gaming company that provides sustainable entertainment in everyday life,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

The figures for Paf’s customer segments have been reviewed by auditors as part of the audit of the financial statements.

“Our published and open customer segments show what our investments in responsible gaming measures have achieved over the years. The publication gives credibility to our efforts at a level that no other gaming company has been able to show,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

Daniela Forsgård new on the board
Paf gets a new board member when Daniela Forsgård takes a seat on the board. At the same time, Birgitta Eriksson is stepping down after many years on Paf’s board.

“I really want to thank Birgitta for the solid contribution she has made to Paf’s Board over the years.”

“Daniela Forsgård’s merit-based knowledge of finance, combined with the international experience she possesses, will fit in well with the Board. In addition, Daniela has personal experience of Paf as she previously worked at Paf,” says Jan-Mikael von Schantz.

The Paf Board now consists of Chairman Jan-Mikael von Schantz, Board members Gunnar Westerlund, Denise Johansson, Roger Nordlund and Daniela Forsgård.

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