British land-based and online sportsbook behemoth Entain has reportedly started negotiations on a deal that could see it acquire Eastern European casino operator Olympic Entertainment Group for approximately $1 billion.
According to a Friday report from the Bloomberg news service, the London-listed firm is currently discussing a cash and earn-out arrangement that would see it immediately purchase the online and land-based businesses of Olympic Entertainment Group in Croatia and Lithuania. The source detailed that such an understanding could also include an option for the target’s remaining operations in jurisdictions such as Slovakia, Italy and Malta from 2023 subject to the performance of the initial acquisitions.
Previously known as GVC Holdings until undergoing a December of 2020 name-change, Entain is responsible for a slew of online casino and sportsbetting domains including Ladbrokes.com, Bwin.com, Coral.co.uk and Sportingbet.com. The firm established in 2004 recently chalked up a 23rd consecutive quarter of year-on-year revenue growth and explained that it expects to finish the year with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of between $1.15 billion and $1.22 billion.
Entain is moreover behind the Ladbrokes, Coral and Eurobet-branded estates of retail bookmaking shops in the United Kingdom and Italy and was recently the subject of a failed $20 billion cash-and-stock takeover proposition from American online sportsbook giant DraftKings Incorporated. The operator furthermore paid around $436 million in March so as to purchase Enlabs AB, which runs the Optibet-branded family of Baltic-facing iGaming domains, and purportedly believes that buying Olympic Entertainment Group would allow it to further expand its presence across Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.
For its part and Olympic Entertainment Group is reportedly one of the last remaining assets of Novalpina Capital, which additionally owns the Israeli developer behind the controversial Pegasus spyware tool, NSO Group Technologies. This London-headquartered private equity concern purportedly collapsed earlier in the year amid a fight between its three founders as its shareholders voted to fold its remaining holdings into those of American rival Berkeley Research Group.
Bloomberg reported that selling its stake in Olympic Entertainment Group could allow Novalpina Capital to recoup all of its original investment with a profit even before offloading its other remaining interests, which involve stakes in French pharmaceutical specialist Laboratoire XO and a large debt portfolio. In exchange and Entain would potentially be given the keys to the MaxBet and OlyBet-branded family of online gambling domains in addition to a portfolio containing more than 100 casinos including the Olympic Voodoo Casino in the Latvian capital of Riga.