BUSINESS

Playtech bids for Ava Trade, bolsters deals with Norsk Tipping and Ladbrokes

TAGs: ava trade, Belgium, Ladbrokes, Live dealer, Norsk Tipping, Norway, Playtech

playtech-ava-trade-bidOnline gambling technology provider Playtech has made a $105m bid to acquire Ava Trade, a Dublin-based online forex and contracts for difference (CFD) outfit.

The bid was made through Playtech’s recently acquired CFD operation TradeFX, which was formerly owned by Playtech’s founder and largest shareholder Teddy Sagi, who has made more than a few fistfuls of dollars selling companies to Playtech over the years.

Playtech says there is “limited overlap” between the two financial trading businesses and thus the acquisition would “substantially expand and enhance TradeFX’s existing position through the diversification of customers and geographies.” The $105m bid price represents 6x Ava Trade’s 2014 adjusted earnings.

Playtech CEO Mor Weizer called the potential acquisition “another important milestone” in the company’s expansion strategy. Playtech said it has agreed to a €200m unsecured revolving credit facility with Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland to fund the acquisition and “further growth initiatives.”

PLAYTECH EXPANDS NORSK TIPPING RELATIONSHIP
Playtech also announced it had expanded its relationship with Norwegian state-owned gaming operator Norsk Tipping. Playtech subsidiary Videobet Interactive Sweden was one of three lucky suppliers – the others being Inspired Gaming and Genera Networks – selected to provide Norsk Tipping with locally adapted interactive gaming content across over 4,300 interactive gaming terminals in bingo halls and other retail venues. The deal is for an initial two-year period and includes options for two one-year extensions.

Playtech COO Shimon Akad said the new deal was in line with the company’s “regulated markets strategy.” Playtech is keen to emphasize its regulated market revenue, despite the significant sums it generates from online gambling operators serving grey- or black-markets.

Playtech’s 2014 earnings report showed that its Asian-facing licensees – who serve markets that are blacker than black – contributed 29% of Playtech’s total revenue, a figure that was both larger and growing much faster than Playtech’s Gibraltar-licensed operators.

PLAYTECH TO SUPPLY LIVE DEALER CASINO FOR LADBROKES.BE
Finally, Playtech has reportedly agreed to provide a live dealer casino for UK betting operator Ladbrokes’ Belgian site. In January, the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) announced new rules requiring all its licensed operators’ live dealer studios to be based within the country and the new regime took effect on Wednesday.

eGaming Review reported that Playtech had reached a deal with Ladbrokes to ensure the company’s site remains in the BGC’s good books. Playtech reportedly received an extension from the BGC while it completes its new Belgium-based live dealer studio, which is expected to launch within the next few months.

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