Flutter Entertainment, a London Stock Exchange listed international sports betting and gambling company, has acquired a controlling stake in Serbia’s second-largest sports betting and gaming operator, MaxBet! According to the company, the acquisition conducted for a cash consideration of €141million will secure an initial 51% stake to Flutter with the opportunity to acquire the remaining 49% in 2029.

Extending Reach to Balkan Region:

The deal will enable Flutter Entertainment, formerly Paddy Power Betfair, to extend its reach to the regulated Serbian market. Even more, the operator will be able to take advantage of the MaxBet brand platform to access fast-growing markets in the Balkan peninsula. It will also benefit from the gambling infrastructure and the extensive presence of MaxBet in Serbian market which recorded a 25% annual growth over the last five years.

Fully Regulated Serbian Market:

In the financial year 2022, the second largest Serbian sports wagering brand generated €145 million in gross gambling revenues with a 44% share generated via online operations. As reported, the total revenues are fully regulated and the adjusted EBITDA amounted to €32 million. Based on the FY2022 figures, it seems that the acquisition will pay off  in one-year time to enable the London-listed company to continue generating profit ever since.

Highly Competitive Position:

According to Flutter Entertainment, the acquisition fully meets its key strategic criteria as it provides a highly competitive position in the attractive regulated Serbian market with annual handle of around €700 million and the expected growth of around 15% by 2025. Also, the Balkan region’s market enables a dynamic content exchange via omni-channel operators and significant number of retail facilities.

Access to 95k Online Players a Month:

With the addition of MaxBet as the #2 Serbian operator into the portfolio, Flutter will reportedly get access to its 20% market share and more than 400 retail facilities across four regional markets, as well as to more than 95 thousand average online monthly players. The Serbian operator’s 2,400 employees reportedly represent another significant asset in the local market now available for Flutter. These assets will reportedly be enhanced by the company’s Flutter Edge brand technology and talent synergies to provide an unparalleled content and innovation for an improved gaming experience in the highly promising Serbian market.

Building Podium Positions in Regulated Markets:

Peter Jackson, Flutter Chief Executive, reportedly commented: “I am excited to announce the addition of MaxBet to the Flutter portfolio. This acquisition continues our progress against the strategic priorities we have set for our International division; to buy and build podium positions in regulated markets. We believe MaxBet is an excellent opportunity to replicate the success we have achieved in markets like Georgia, India and Italy by acquiring a strong brand in a podium position, where we see a compelling opportunity to combine that extensive local expertise with the power of the Flutter Edge to accelerate and transform growth.”

After the deal, Flutter’s shares rose 1.0% to 13,795 pence each in London Stock Exchange in the morning of September 27, 2023.