Swedish gaming operator Cherry has signed an agreement to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Curaçao-licensed company Web Resorts NV, in a bid to expand its online and mobile presence.

Web Resorts operates a number of gaming domains including the Scandinavian-facing NordicSlots.com and NorgesSpill.com sites, which offer online casino games supplied by BetSoft Gaming.

Cherry is to pay a cash consideration of €3.3m, with the company liable to pay an additional €1m based on the brands’ performance.

Cherry chief executive Emil Sunvission said that the acquisition would have “a very positive impact” on the operator’s results, adding that “the prospects to further grow the business are good.”

The purchase of the stake is expected to increase Cherry’s annual revenues and earnings before tax by approximately €1m.

The deal follows the publication of the operator’s results earlier this week, in which Cherry reported a net loss of SEK11.9m, primarily as a result of marketing costs more than doubling during the third quarter.

It is the latest move by the company to increase revenues, following the launch of a Norwegian casino brand in June this year, and the launch of a new Swedish lottery in partnership with the Swedish Sports Alliance and Metro newspaper in October.

The company has embarked on a drive to build its market share, admitting in August that it favoured growth over profitability, in a bid to regain its place as a leading Scandinavian operator.

Shares in Cherry AB (Co. Data) (OMX:CHER) were trading down 1.89 per cent at SEK26.00 per share as at 11:50 CET in Stockholm this morning.

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