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Inspired Announces Agreement To Acquire Novomatic UK’s Gaming Technology Group

George Miller

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Inspired Announces Agreement To Acquire Novomatic UK's Gaming Technology Group
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Anticipated to Diversify and Broaden Scale and Scope of Inspired’s Footprint and Product Offering

 

Inspired Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Gaming Technology Group (“NTG”) of Novomatic UK Ltd. (“Novomatic UK”), a division of NOVOMATIC GROUP, a leading international supplier of gaming equipment and solutions, for the EUR equivalent of US$120.0 million in cash.

Inspired is a leading supplier of Category B2/B3 gaming terminals in the UK, and NTG is a leading supplier of Category B3, C and D gaming terminals to pubs, arcades, motorway service areas and holiday resorts in the UK.  Following the transaction, Inspired would be positioned to supply an extensive range of products and services across the UK and Europe, and beyond.  Upon closing the acquisition, Inspired would manage more than 75,000 gaming machines in the UK and Europe.

“The potential acquisition of NTG is transformational for Inspired, enabling us to dramatically increase the size, scale and scope of our business by combining our highly complementary, but largely non-overlapping, businesses,” said Lorne Weil, Executive Chairman of Inspired Entertainment. “We expect to leverage our superior game content, technology, operational capabilities and respective footprints to augment the existing growth trends for our enterprise.”

NTG is comprised of the following six companies:

  • Gamestec Leisure – Primarily serving the UK pub sector through the placement of gaming machines on a managed service basis and delivering service support to the bingo and self service betting terminals sectors.
  • Playnation Limited Serving the UK holiday and leisure industry, including holiday parks, motorway service stations, bowling alleys, airports and independent holiday resorts through revenue share arrangements with operators.
  • Astra Games Limited – Gaming machine manufacturer, selling Category B, C and D gaming machines to pubs, adult gaming centers, and holiday resorts.
  • Bell-Fruit Group Limited – Primarily selling Category C machines, both analog and digital, and exporting machines to key European geographies.
  • Harlequin Gaming Limited – Game development studio for Astra and Bell-Fruit.
  • Innov8 Gaming Limited – Gaming machine developer supplying Category B3 and C gaming machines within the NTG and to external customers.

Mr. Weil continued, “Inspired and NTG currently operate in different segments but have much in common in terms of providing resources for our customers and their consumers.  This combination would provide additional resources for our core businesses and combine the great content and machine portfolio from each. We expect to be able to deliver meaningful value to our shareholders as the acquisition is integrated.”

Improved Operating Efficiencies

Inspired expects to achieve $12.3 million to $13.3 million of synergies through shared costs and increased scale. Inspired also expects to be able to make efficient use of shared manufacturing, engineering, software development, field maintenance and customer service to drive growth and cost savings after the transaction closes.  Inspired further expects to reduce capital deployed in the pub gaming sector following the closing of the transaction, as the sector continues its ongoing digital transformation.

Complementary Businesses Leveraging Core Competencies

Inspired plans to draw on the core strengths of Inspired and NTG to broaden offerings, bring differentiated gaming products to new sectors and geographies, accelerate key growth initiatives and offer enhanced capabilities, systems, field service and content.  The addition of NTG is expected to help diversify Inspired’s UK business and expand into contiguous customer segments with very little overlap of existing customers. Inspired’s position and expertise in server based gaming is expected to accelerate NTG’s development initiatives to transition the pub gaming sector from analog to digital gaming machines.

Inspired and NTG are both known for their product innovation and creative content. Together, the companies expect to offer an expansive combined game and machine portfolio to customers. Inspired and NTG are also well positioned to capitalize on further converting NTG’s game library for online deployment.

Transaction Terms and Execution

Inspired has agreed to acquire NTG for the EUR equivalent of US$120 million, subject to certain customary adjustments.  This consideration represents a multiple of approximately 5.5x NTG’s pre-synergy Adjusted EBITDA of £17.1 million, or $21.7 million[2], for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2018, and 3.5x after adjusting for the mid-point of estimated run-rate annual synergies of £9.6 million to £10.6 million, or $12.3 million to $13.3 million, as if they were achieved January 1, 2018.

The acquisition, which is subject to the approvals of regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the third quarter of 2019.  In conjunction with the proposed transaction, Inspired is expected to refinance its existing indebtedness with a new £220 million GBP-equivalent term loan and £20 million revolving credit facility.  Inspired has obtained committed financing for the transaction, and the transaction is not subject to a financing contingency. The committed financing is expected to result in a reduction in cost of debt capital.

“The proposed financing is at a lower interest rate than our existing debt and is a major step in improving Inspired’s capital structure,” said Stewart Baker, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Inspired.  “Pro forma for the acquisition, adjusting for the mid-point of estimated run-rate annual synergies, the proposed financing implies net leverage of 3.0x[3].  It will position us with a stronger balance sheet and extended maturities, while also reducing our cost of capital which we believe will allow us to have more flexibility to capitalize on meaningful opportunities to grow our business.”

Casino Operations

The casino assets of Astra Games Limited are not included in the potential transaction.  At or prior to the closing of the Acquisition, Astra will transfer to Novomatic UK Gaming UK Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NOVOMATIC GROUP, assets to the extent related to its casino operations.

Financial and Legal Advisory

Nomura served as financial advisor to Inspired. Sidley Austin LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP served as legal advisors to Inspired.  Nomura and Macquarie Capital have provided financing commitments to support the transaction.

 

About Inspired Entertainment, Inc.:

Inspired is a global games technology company, supplying Virtual Sports, Mobile Gaming and Server Based Gaming systems with associated terminals and digital content to regulated lottery, betting and gaming operators around the world. Inspired currently operates approximately 35,000 digital gaming terminals and supplies its Virtual Sports products through more than 40,000 retail channels and over 100 websites, in approximately 35 gaming jurisdictions worldwide. Inspired employs more than 650 employees in the UK and elsewhere, developing and operating digital games and networks.

SOURCE Inspired Entertainment, Inc.

Industry News

BOSS. Gaming Solutions welcomes another leading games provider, BOOMING GAMES!

George Miller

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BOSS. Gaming Solutions welcomes another leading games provider, BOOMING GAMES!
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

BOSS. Gaming Solutions, a well-known software developer, platform provider and also multiple casino brand owner has recently announced a content collaboration with BOOMING GAMES, a leading provider for the gaming industry.

This agreement gives BOSS. Gaming Solutions platform and its online casino customers access to the fantastic and modern BOOMING GAMES slots. The amazing BOSS. Gaming Solutions’ library will now be complemented by exciting titles such as Gold Vein, Booming Seven Deluxe, VIP Filthy Riches and other games that all provide rich rewards and special features.

On the BOSS. Gaming Solutions platform, players can enjoy the option of trying out games on demo mode and getting used to the games that are offered, this will give them an all-round understanding of what exactly is on offer from some of the best providers in the industry at bosscasino.com and bootleggercasino.com, before playing for real money. Apart from slots and video slots, they also offer some other popular games in the online world today such as: video poker, casual and table games, scratch cards and many other popular titles from leading suppliers.

The large variety of games is available for partner operators through a single API. Along with this announcement of cooperation, you can already find the BOOMING GAMES slots on the Platform library. BOSS. Gaming Solutions strive to introduce new partners and their high-quality products to customers as quickly as possible so that players can immediately enjoy the latest titles and enjoy an exciting gaming experience.

Jeff Letlat, CEO at BOSS. Gaming Solutions said “Booming Games are exceptional and we are enthusiastic about the positive impact they will have on bosscasino.com and bootleggercasino.com.”

Frederik Niehusen, CCO at BOOMING GAMES added “We are excited to partner with BOSS. Gaming Solutions and see our flagship games available to the players across all their brands. Teaming up with a leading player like BOSS. Gaming Solutions is a further strong addition to our client network. We are looking forward to a successful partnership.”

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Playtech and Stoiximan/Betano launch industry-first Live Cashback Blackjack

George Miller

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Playtech and Stoiximan/Betano launch industry-first Live Cashback Blackjack
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Playtech, the world’s leading gambling technology company, has partnered with Stoiximan/Betano, the leading Greek operator and one of the fastest growing in Europe, to launch an exclusive new scalable Live Blackjack variant, Cashback Blackjack Live.

Previously available as an RNG game, the new scalable Live Cashback Blackjack variant is an eight-deck game open to an unlimited number of players. In this game, players can choose to “cash out” during any action round instead of taking an action, placing a dynamically determined cashback amount depending on the round. Continuing the All bets Blackjack line, Six different side bet options are available to players and add to the excitement. This unique scalable Blackjack variant is the recent addition to the growing portfolio of scalable Blackjack games available from Playtech live and marks the fifth variant after Unlimited Blackjack, Quantum Blackjack, All bets Blackjack and the recent Majority Rules Speed Blackjack.

Stoiximan/Betano chose to work directly with Playtech to produce the industry-first live dealer version of Cashback Blackjack, adding a new collaborative dimension to an already successful relationship.

 

About the game

Players begin by placing their main bet, plus any additional side bets.

Six different side bets are on offer: 21+3, Buster Blackjack, Dealer Pair, Lucky Lucky, Player Pair and Top 3. Buster Blackjack (dealer’s hand) has the biggest win potential – a result of 8+ cards and player’s Blackjack pays out at 2000:1.

In the action rounds, players have five choices – Cashback, Hit, Stand, Double or Split. If a player chooses to Split during an action round, Cashback is offered for both hands. If a player chooses to Double, Cashback is not offered. The Cashback amount is calculated based on the cards on the table and may change for each action round. Cashback only applies to the main bet, with side bets resolved and paid out separately.

Edo Haitin, CEO, Playtech Live, comments: “The development of Cashback Blackjack Live has been a truly collaborative effort, and takes our partnership with Stoiximan/Betano to a new level. Stoiximan/Betano is already one of the leading operators in the Greek market, and we’re committed to working closely with them to not only build on this position, but also extend that success into further territories.

“Thanks to a fantastic initiative from our friends at Stoiximan/Betano group and a great effort from the development teams on both sides, we’ve been able to deliver a dynamic new experience for players in record time, which emphasizes our strategy of equipping our partners with scalable dedicated solutions while still providing players with a fun and personal game experience. The Cashback concept is of course well-established in Sports betting, so we’re very interested to see how players will respond to it in a Live Casino setting, where there’s interaction with a dealer and other players. We’re confident players will find Cashback Blackjack Live a highly engaging experience”.

Christos Mavridis, Live Casino Manager at Stoiximan/Betano adds: “Product innovation, wide game offer and an optimum customer experience have always been among our priorities at Stoiximan/Betano. We’ve already seen a fantastic response to Cashback Blackjack as an RNG game, so are very much looking forward to delivering a new experience for our players with the first Live version. Having worked closely with Playtech for some time now, we were well aware of their track record in producing innovative new content and game variants. As such we felt they were the ideal partner for the development of Cashback Blackjack Live, and we’re sure our players will be just as impressed with the finished product as we are”.

 

About Playtech:

Founded in 1999 and premium listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, Playtech is a technology leader in the gambling and financial trading industries.

Playtech is the gambling industry’s leading technology company, delivering business intelligence-driven gambling software, services, content and platform technology across the industry’s most popular product verticals, including casino, live casino, sports betting, virtual sports, bingo and poker. It is the pioneer of omni-channel gambling technology through its integrated platform technology, Playtech ONE. Playtech ONE delivers data-driven marketing expertise, single wallet functionality, CRM and responsible gambling solutions across one single platform across product verticals and across retail and online.

Playtech partners with and invests in the leading brands in regulated and newly regulated markets to deliver its data-driven gambling technology across the retail and online value chain. Playtech provides its technology on a B2B basis to the industry’s leading retail and online operators, land-based casino groups and government sponsored entities such as lotteries. As of June 2018, through the acquisition of Snaitech, Playtech directly owns and operates the leading sports betting and gaming brand in online and retail in Italy, Snai. Snaitech operates a B2B2C model as a service provider, allowing franchisees to utilise the Playtech technology stack in the retail environment while operating the leading brand, Snai, directly online as a B2C business.

Playtech’s Financials Division, named TradeTech Group, is a technology leader in the CFD and financial trading industry and operates both on a B2B and B2C basis.

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Industry News

BMIT Technologies Launches “CX Virtual Agent”

Niji Narayan

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BMIT Technologies Launches “CX Virtual Agent”
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

BMIT Technologies has launched CX Virtual Agent, a new tool to offer effective and innovative customer support. This AI-powered intelligent virtual agent has been developed by EBO and offered exclusively by BMIT Technologies for gaming companies.

The primary objective of this tool is to automate the very notion of customer service. In the process, however, it also improves customer onboarding, KYC processes, responsible gaming and marketing.

“At BMIT Technologies we pride ourselves in offering the best technology solutions to our customers. Our solutions are built on a resilient infrastructure and supported by the right set-up, a highly experienced team, as well as innovative thinking that helps our customers identify opportunities to enhance their business potential. We are very proud to partner with EBO.ai. Their specialism in the world of AI, as well as commitment to excellence and innovation, is in line with our business philosophy and portfolio objectives. We’re very excited about this partnership,” Christian Sammut, CEO of BMIT Technologies, said.

“We are extremely excited about the partnership with BMIT Technologies which has established itself as a market-leader and a true catalyst of digital transformation. At EBO, we believe in technology innovation and most importantly, providing customers with the right AI solutions to help them scale quickly and sustainably. Our partnership with BMIT Technologies will help us offer advanced virtual agents to a much wider audience, starting from online gaming. The Virtual Agent will help platforms tackle traditional challenges in the iGaming sector,” Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO, said.

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