Entain has partnered with EMMA Capital (EMMA), a leading investment firm based in the Czech Republic, to establish a new venture (Entain CEE) to drive expansion in Central and Eastern Europe. Entain will own 75% of the economic rights in Entain CEE. Entain CEE will acquire the SuperSport Group, the leading gaming and sportsbook operator in Croatia from EMMA.
The new platform will be led by SuperSport’s CEO, Radim Haluza, who has significant experience across the region. The combination of Entain’s global scale, access to capital and content, EMMA’s regional knowledge and connectivity, alongside the expert local operational knowledge of Radim and his team, makes Entain CEE uniquely positioned to unlock the significant opportunity across the region. This bespoke structure will allow Entain to join with further leading local operators through Entain CEE to continue to grow this unique platform across the region.
For 75% of the economic rights in SuperSport, Entain will pay EUR 600 million in cash at completion; and a further contingent payment of EUR 90 million made to EMMA in early 2023 based on SuperSport’s EBITDA for the financial year ending 2022.
EMMA will contribute their 25% stake in SuperSport to Entain CEE at an initial implied valuation of €200m, with the contingent payment implying an additional €30m value contributed by EMMA.
The Acquisition is expected to value SuperSport at €920m which implies a transaction multiple of 9.6x 2022 EBITDA, or 9.1x 2022 fully synergised EBITDA.
The Acquisition will be financed through a €700m bridge loan from Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Mediobanca, NatWest and Santander. The Acquisition will increase Entain’s pro-forma net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio in 2022 by 0.4x. The Acquisition is expected to complete in Q4 2022 and is conditional upon regulatory approvals.
“We are excited to create Entain CEE with EMMA to underpin our strategy across the CEE region, and to be acquiring the leading betting and gaming operator in the highly attractive, fully regulated Croatian market. We see Croatia as an exciting, dynamic country which Entain CEE is perfectly positioned to expand from – we are very much looking forward to growing our business responsibly within the country and the region. By bringing together Entain’s global expertise and EMMA’s regional investment track record, we are creating a growth platform with considerable opportunity. Expansion across CEE is a core component of our growth strategy, and we look forward to having Radim on board to help drive this opportunity,” Jette Nygaard-Anderson, CEO of Entain, said.
“EMMA is very happy to be partnering with the leading global betting, gaming and interactive entertainment business to unlock the opportunity posed by the CEE betting and gaming market. We see the Entain CEE structure as a clear opportunity for creating value for shareholders, and we look forward to working closely and collaboratively with Entain,” Pavel Horák, Chief Investment Officer at EMMA, said.
“I am looking forward to joining with Entain and further building on the significant opportunity presented in this region. The prospect of leading Entain CEE to drive expansion in fully regulated markets is an exciting opportunity, and EMMA’s investment expertise combined with Entain’s world-class platform will give us the competitive edge in delivering on the CEE opportunity,” Radim Haluza, CEO of SuperSport, said.
Wazdan grows its presence in Serbia and Montenegro with ExeFeed partnership
Wazdan, the innovative games provider, has bolstered its position in Serbia and Montenegro by striking a deal with the aggregator ExeFeed.
By integrating via the ExeFeed platform, customers of casino brands BetOle and Lobbet will be able to enjoy Wazdan’s wide range of thrilling games. Lobbet has already benefited from Wazdan’s innovative titles, having released 19 of the company’s games in August, including the top-performing 9 Coins™, Magic Spins™, and Power of Gods™: Hades.
Lobbet players will also be able to enjoy Wazdan’s engagement-boosting Hold the Jackpot, Collect to Infinity™, and Cash Infinity™ features.
Wazdan has strengthened its footprint in recent months with a range of major deals in Europe and beyond. The company has taken its product offering to the next level with new integrations, including having gone live with Betsson brand, StarCasino, in Italy recently.
Radka Bacheva, Head of Sales and Business Development Balkans & CIS at Wazdan, said: “As we continue to focus on extending our footprint across Europe, we’re delighted to take our innovative games and features live through this ExeFeed integration in Serbia and Montenegro.
“BetOle and Lobbet have historically taken a similar approach to innovation and pushing the gaming experience as we do at Wazdan, so we look forward to a strong partnership together.”
Milica Popovic, Casino Manager at ExeFeed, said: “Wazdan’s titles have become even more exciting during the course of the year, so this partnership is a move that very much benefits both companies.
“The players using our brands have become accustomed to a high level of gaming experience, so introducing more of Wazdan’s games and features will certainly fulfil these heady expectations.”
Wazdan continues its global expansion with Bulgarian market entry
Wazdan, the innovative games provider, has rolled out its significant slots offering to operators in Bulgaria. Wazdan games are now available in over 20 regulated markets worldwide.
The move sees an assortment of 14 popular Wazdan titles certified in the country, including all-time player favourites like 9 Lions, Sizzling 777 Deluxe, Magic Fruits Deluxe, and Larry the Leprechaun.
Apart from the company’s innovative portfolio of games, operators in Bulgaria can now benefit from Wazdan’s renowned Freedom of Choice™ suite, which features customisable tools like Volatility Levels™.
This marks the latest in Wazdan recent market entries that have also included Italy, the Netherlands, the Canadian province of Ontario, and the US state of Michigan, in what has been an aggressive period of growth for the developer.
The Bulgarian market entry saw the company strike deals with prominent operators in the region, Dench and Sesame, as well as being shortlisted for the SiGMA CIS & Balkans Awards in the Best Slots Provider category.
Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, said: “We’ve experienced a great deal of growth and momentum this year, but we are far from resting on our laurels. This entry into Bulgaria just marks the latest in some very exciting growth plans for Wazdan.
“This is a deeply exciting time for us and the next few chapters will be just as interesting – watch this space!”
PRAGMATIC PLAY OPENS BULGARIAN STUDIO AS IT EXPANDS LIVE CASINO OPERATIONS
Pragmatic Play, the global content provider to the iGaming industry, is to launch a brand-new live casino studio in Bulgaria as it continues to expand its global corporate footprint to meet ever increasing demand from its operator clients.
Renowned for its award-winning slot range, which boasts more than 250 titles, Pragmatic Play has also entered other key verticals such as Bingo, Virtual Sports and Sportsbook.
The new Live Casino location will be offering Pragmatic Play’s staple Live Casino products – with its premium immersive experience, broadcasted with 4k cameras and leading audio technology. The state-of-the-art facility will be based in Sofia, and will see Pragmatic Play hire over 2,000 people to add to its Bulgarian talent pool by the end of 2023.
The new location becomes the latest opened by Pragmatic Play, following the establishment of its first studio in Bucharest and corporate hubs in Serbia and Gibraltar, as well as recently expanding its Malta office.
Irina Cornides, Chief Operating Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “We’re delighted to announce the opening of our new Bulgarian location, right in the heart of the capital, Sofia.
“It is an important step for us as we look to both expand the capacity of our Live Casino operations and intend to work with the fantastic talent in Bulgaria.
“We’re proud of the strides made as a business since our inception, and this marks another exciting chapter for Pragmatic Play.”
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