Swedish online betting operator Cherry AB made news last week when it announced that it was in the final stages of acquiring ComeOn Malta Ltd., the parent company of online casino and sports betting site ComeOn.com.
In an interview with CalvinAyre.com, Cherry iGaming CEO Jonas Wahlander said they expect major push courtesy of ComeOn’s “strong sportsbook presence,” not only in the Nordics.
“ComeOn has a strong sportsbook presence, which is something Cherry has been working to expand recently, so that will be a major boost to our total offering,” Wahlander said. “The UK is a particularly interesting one for us, and a market where ComeOn has a strong presence. We believe we can expand further in the UK with our multiple brands, such as CherryCasino and Eurolotto. ComeOn will also strengthen our position in German-speaking markets, where Cherry has been making rapid progress in recent months after acquiring the Almor brands last year and where Mobilbet will sit perfectly in our product mix.”
The acquisition, however, comes with a hefty price tag. The Swedish operator agreed to a pay a maximum total consideration of €280 million for the whole ComeOn enchilada, which will be paid in two tranches—the first totaling €80 million in half cash, half new Cherry shares to cover the 49 percent stake.
Wahlander admitted that the ComeOn acquisition is a “significant deal,” but it’s one that Cherry is willing to shell out money for.
“We feel ComeOn is a perfect complement to Cherry. We share similar company cultures and values, we both have ambitious expansion plans for the future, and perhaps most importantly, we both want to make a mark in the iGaming industry for the benefit of our customers,” the CEO said. “Like Cherry, ComeOn is growing at a pace well ahead of the market, so that also heightened the appeal. The firm was only founded in 2009 and it has grown extremely impressively, so the deal made a lot of sense to us.”
Aside from the 49 percent stake, Cherry also has the option until the end of the year to purchase an additional 2 percent, which will give the company controlling powers over the ComeOn brand. Still, Wahlander said not a lot of changes will be happening—at least, not anytime soon.
“The brands will remain separate for the time being. As with any acquisition we are currently undertaking a detailed assessment phase to establish how we can best operate in partnership and enhance each other’s propositions going forward,” Wahlander said. “We did not acquire ComeOn to completely change its operations. They have a proven record of success over consecutive years. The ComeOn founders and management team have done a fantastic job will be retained to continue that fine work.”