Online gambling affiliate marketing firm Catena Media has boosted its geographic reach via a major German market acquisition.
On Monday, Catena announced that it had reached a deal to acquire the affiliate-related sports betting assets of Baybets Ltd, including 50 separate websites – among them, sportwetten.org and sportwette.net – most of which focus on German-speaking sports betting markets.
Catena said the deal will cost the company €26.5m upfront, half in cash and half in newly issued Catena shares (the latter being subject to a 24-month lock-up period). There’s also the possibility of maximum additional earn-out payments of €63.5m if the Baybets assets reach certain performance benchmarks over the next two years.
The deal is expected to close mid-month, after which Catena will immediately begin integrating the Baybets assets. Baybets’ current complement of 23 Malta-based staffers will also be making the transition to the Malta-based Catena Media’s Sports division.
Catena’s acting CEO Henrik Persson Ekdahl called the Baybets deal “the largest acquisition made by Catena Media since company inception” and claimed it would make Catena “one of the strongest sports betting affiliate players on the market.”
Ekdahl said the acquisition, coming as it does before a year that will feature both the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, will help the company realize its “ambitious financial targets.” Catena expects the addition of the Baybets operations will boost quarterly revenue by €2.25m with an operating margin of around 70%.
Baybets CEO Jan Steffen thanked his staff for “bringing us to where we are today” and said he looked forward to “reaching new heights together with Catena Media, on a long-term basis, both from an operational perspective and as shareholders.”
This is the second major acquisition for Catena in as many months, coming not long after the company announced it had acquired the US-facing operations of online poker affiliate PokerScout.com, albeit for a mere $350k. Other leading affiliates have also been busy acquiring rival operations, mirroring the increasingly frantic consolidation mania that has gripped the UK-facing gambling industry over the past few years.