GVC Buys Initial Crystalbet Majority Stake With Remainder To Follow

LONDON (Alliance News) - GVC Holdings PLC said Monday it has agreed to buy a 51% stake in ...

Alliance News 5 March, 2018 | 8:46AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - GVC Holdings PLC said Monday it has agreed to buy a 51% stake in Crystalbet-owner Mars LLC for EUR41.3 million with a commitment to buy the remainder in 2021.

GVC - a FTSE 250-listed betting firm - will buy the initial 51% in Mars which owns Georgia's Crystalbet in an all-cash deal using existing financial resources.

Completion is not subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete by March.

Crystalbet, launched in 2011, is one of the leading online gaming operators in the Republic of Georgia. In 2017, Crystalbet generated post-tax profit of EUR10.2 million on revenue of EUR34 million.

By way of comparison, in 2016 GVC itself reported a pretax loss of EUR138.6 million on revenue of EUR823.3 million after it acquired peer bwin.party.

It is intended GVC will buy the remaining 49% of Crystalbet in 2021. The valuation of this remaining stake will be the lower of EUR150 million or seven times its clean earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Crystalbet's management - including Chief Executive Officer Koba Giglemiani - will remain in post and retain their equity stakes in the firm during the initial acquisition of a majority stake.

"We are delighted to welcome Crystalbet to the GVC Group, having been impressed with what the management team has achieved thus far," GVC Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Alexander said. "Through access to GVC's content, technology and digital marketing skills, we believe Crystalbet can become a clear leader in the regulated Georgian market. This acquisition is in line with our stated strategy of being a truly global player, with a focus on regulated/regulating markets."

In December 2017, GVC agreed to buy UK peer Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC in a GBP3.2 billion cash and stock deal. The deal is still to complete.

Shares in GVC were 1.2% lower at 862.00 pence on Monday.

By Ahren Lester; ahrenlester@alliancenews.com.

Copyright 2018 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC
GVC Holdings PLC 654.40 GBX 0.89 -
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