Maltese-Swedish online operators Leo Vegas have recently acquired – an Italian online gambling platform that was sold to them by Finnish operators Paf. According to a Tuesday press release, Leo Vegas have agreed to pay a sum of €6.1 million in cash for the acquisition and they expect the deal to be finalized by March 1st, 2017. This is the first major acquisition for the Maltese company and, according to official comments, not the last one.

Winga are Milan-based operators that offer licensed real money games to Italian players. Nearly half of the company’s profits come from live games, which also include a live casino show that’s broadcasted on SKY TV and Italian digital TV networks.  The Winga brand was first owned by Buongiorno SpA, a subsidiary of the DOCOMO group, before being acquired by Paf in January 2015. At the time of acquisition, Paf claimed that Winga had earned €10 million in 2014. However, recent reports from 2016 show that the Italian operator had a negative result, one which dropped its revenue down to €8 million.

According to Christer Fahlstedt, PAF’s CEO, the Italian market is not part of the company’s future strategy and they decided it was right time to sell upon receiving a “generous offer” from Leo Vegas. However, he also added that the sale of Winga didn’t mean they are lowering their global ambitions, but just that they want to focus on markets which they expect to grow profitable in the long run.

According to Leo Vegas’ press release, the company chose Winga after evaluating a dozen acquisition opportunities and indentifying several factors that could turn to the positive side. CEO Gustaf Hagman also stated that the deal will help the Leo Vegas brand expand rapidly in Italy thanks to Winga’s already “established position”.