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Betsson boosts UK presence via £26.4m NetPlayTV acquisition

TAGs: Betsson, Juventus, NetPlayTV

betsson-netplay-acquisitionNordic online gambling operator Betsson has boosted its UK market presence via a £26.4m bid for AIM-listed interactive TV gambling operator NetPlay TV.

On Thursday, Betsson announced that it had made an all-cash £26.4m offer to acquire NetPlay, which operates the Jackpot247, Supercasino and Vernons brands. The price represents a 12.5% premium to NetPlay’s current share value, and Betsson hopes to close the deal by April 2017.

While the deal must be approved by NetPlay shareholders and UK regulators, NetPlay’s board of directors plans to unanimously recommend that shareholders accept the deal. Betsson has also received signed statements of support from NetPlay’s top two shareholders – Directforce Trading Ltd and Henderson Global Investors – who, along with NetPlay’s directors, account for nearly 40% of NetPlay’s issued share capital.

Betsson CEO Ulrik Bengtsson said NetPlay’s brands each had “strong offerings” and believes that “applying Betsson’s experience of operating successful casino brands will add to NetPlay’s earnings and growth.”

NetPlay CEO Bjarke Larsen said the deal represented a “complementary fit” that would allow NetPlay to capitalize on future growth opportunities. Given the “changing market dynamics” and the rush toward consolidation, Larsen said “now is the right time to take advantage of this opportunity to realize value for all of our shareholders.”

NetPlay previously reported revenue of £14.7m and earnings of £1.7m in the six months ending June 30, 2016. On Thursday, NetPlay’s board said the company had enjoyed a “strong performance” in H2 2016 despite a decline in net revenue margins at its B2C operations. Betsson will release its own full year 2016 results report on February 9.

The NetPlay deal comes less than two months after Betsson plunked down €40m to acquire race betting operator RaceBets, which holds licenses in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Germany.

In other Betsson news, the company’s StarCasino subsidiary has struck an official gaming partnership with Italian Serie A football mainstays Juventus. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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