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Entain expands in Canada with £174m Sports Interaction acquisition

8th February 2022 10:06 am GMT
Playtech

London-listed betting and gaming giant Entain has acquired Avid Gaming’s Canadian online sports betting brand Sports Interaction for CAD$300m (approx. £174m).

Alongside its application for an Ontario licence, Entain said that the acquisition would provide an “excellent opportunity” to drive further growth as an addition to its existing Canadian business, where it has been providing a free-to-play offering via its Party and bwin brands.

“Sports Interaction is the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand and is aligned perfectly with our own ambitions of great customer service and ambitious growth, coupled with an unwavering commitment to sustainability,” said Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

“It is highly complementary to our existing operations in Canada, and the combination of its local expertise and Entain’s powerful platform will provide customers with an unrivalled range of exciting and engaging products in this fast-growing market. We look forward to welcoming Will Golby and his team to Entain.”

Headquartered in Jersey with offices in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawà:ke and Ireland, Avid Gaming exclusively licenses the Sports Interaction trademark and provides proprietary online betting and gaming products and services to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) and the Mohawk Online socioeconomic initiative, with revenue invested back into the community of Kahnawà:ke.

Last year, Sports Interaction’s gross revenue increased by 40 per cent to $76m, generating EBITDA of $18m and profit before tax of $17.4m. Approximately 50 per cent of Avid Gaming employees in Kahnawà:ke are Mohawk, while revenue generated in 2020 played a vital role in Kahnawà:ke’s Covid-19 relief efforts.

The acquisition is expected to deliver approximately $15m of synergies in 2023, predominantly from technology, content and procurement benefits. This results in a post synergies acquisition multiple for Entain of approximately 7x 2023 EBITDA. The consideration for the acquisition has been paid from existing facilities.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Entain, which is an exceptional company combining world-class brands, strong leadership and a winning strategy,” said Avid Gaming CEO Will Golby, who will transition to Entain along with other members of the leadership team. “It has a unique approach to local markets, and no other company of its scale consistently delivers so many well-executed, localised approaches to the same level of customisation and detail.

“Entain’s commitment to sustainability, responsible gaming and community investment aligns exactly with our own business philosophy, and we look forward to a bright future together.”

Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, Grand Chief of Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke, added: “Entain is a world class operator with a genuine desire to positively contribute to the communities in which it operates. Kahnawà:ke is well known in the gaming industry, not only for our internationally recognized jurisdiction through the Kahnawà:ke Gaming Commission, but also for our socio-economic initiative, Mohawk Online.

“This new partnership between Entain and the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke is mutually beneficial, and brings with it prime opportunity for bolstering our self-sufficiency through the continuing success of Sports Interaction.”

Shares in Entain plc (LSE:ENT) were trading 0.41 per cent higher at 1,612.03 pence per share in London Tuesday morning.

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