Stockholm-listed gaming operator Unibet has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of iGame Holding and its subsidiaries.

Unibet will pay an initial price of €59m for the gaming operator in cash, with the possibility of additional earn-out payments based on iGame's results in the period up to end-June 2016.

iGame generated gross wagering revenue of €13.7m in the first half of 2015 from its Nordic and Central-European online casino, poker and sports betting offerings, with EBITDA of €4.7m.

Unibet said the transaction will increase its market share in strategic Nordic markets, ahead of expected re-regulation in the coming years. The combined group also expects to benefit from synergies from the transaction, including a wider product portfolio, effective marketing, and economies of scale associated with third-party procurement of products and media.

"The iGame brands are well known in their local markets and we see a lot of potential by combining our bigger scale, mobile, cross channel and product expertise with their local focus," said Unibet chief executive Henrik Tjärnström. "As the majority of the iGame revenues comes from Casino, our joint plan is to keep a number of these brands as a complement to our existing brands, Unibet and Maria."

iGame's current management, under the leadership of CEO Tommi Maijala, will remain with the business and will be subject to retention arrangements to deliver the business plan during the next three years. In total, iGame has approximately 130 employees, the majority of whom are based in Malta.

Commenting on the agreement, Maijala said: "We are very happy to be joining the Unibet Group. While Unibet is larger than iGame, we share the same passion for serving our customers and improving the operations every day. I have great comfort and trust in the long-term strategy of Unibet and highly respect all the valuable work Unibet has done for the gaming industry.

"Through this deal our customers will quickly see the benefits from our ability to improve the product offering. Our ability to accelerate the growth and development of the business will also provide new opportunities for our great team."

Shares in Unibet Group plc (Co. Data) (OMX:UNIB) were trading up 1.11 per cent in Stockholm shortly after the announcement Friday at SEK639.00 per share, having earlier set a new 52-week high of SEK648.00.


GIQ Magazine Digital Edition