Swedish online casino operator, Cherry AB (CHERB:Stockholm), has reportedly exercised its option to purchase a further 7.8% of the shares of London-based Highlight Games Ltd., and now owns more than 50% of the gaming technology company.

According to the official press release

Additionally, Cherry has acquired shares which correspond to a 15.1% stake in the company, which develops innovative, sports-focused, and IP-protected virtual games for online and retail gaming operators, from parties who are not active in the casino operator.

The total purchase price amounts to GBP 5.4 million (US$ 6.9 million) and is to be paid in cash. Post transactions, the company now owns 60.4% of outstanding shares of Highlight Games.

The Tuesday statement from Cherry informs that Highlight Games offers a one-of-a-kind patented product along with multi-year rights for the use of footage from inter alia historical football machines to produce unique virtual sports content.

Cherry goes on to explain that it has now begun to deploy its  SOCCER BET, which features footage from major European football leagues, offering into several African countries. In the approaching months, with a planned deployment strategy, it will be launching with online sports betting site, Eurobet, in Italy. The plan includes various leading Italian operators, in keeping with its target of the 2 billion euro ($2.45 billion) Italian virtual sports market.

The company further communicates that looking ahead; it is eyeing a number of new business opportunities across various sports emerging markets, with its inventive sports product uniquely utilizing archive live-action sports footage.

In May last year, Cherry signed an agreement to acquire 25% of Highlight Games Ltd, with an option to acquire a further 26%. The agreement on the heels of its completing the acquisition of Malta-based online platform ComeOn!.

Launched in Sweden in 1963, Cherry currently operates five different gaming arms, including Online Gaming, Game Development (Yggdrasil Gaming), Online Marketing, Gaming Technology, and Restaurant Casino.