M&A News

Playtech has strengthen its bingo solutions offering with the acquisition of ECM Systems, a leading provider of bingo software and related services to the UK retail bingo market.

Playtech has paid £14.9m for a 90 per cent stake in the business with the remaining 10 per cent, which is subject to put and call options capped at £1.1m, held by ECM chief executive Allen Richardson, who will remain in his role for the next three years.

ECM systems provide key facilities for Main Stage Bingo, Cash Bingo, wide area linked gaming operations, and front-of-house reporting to the UK's leading bingo operators such as Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo, as well as independent bingo hall operators.

The company is also a leading provider and licensor of digital bingo software for a wide range of Electronic Bingo Terminals (EBT) and generates a significant proportion of its revenue from this activity.

Playtech said the acquisition will position it at the forefront of the retail bingo market in the UK, while also strengthening its omni-channel solutions for bingo operators by connecting their retail and online operations and providing a platform to supply Playtech content.

In its 2016 financial year, ECM reported revenue of £9.1m and adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation of £4.5m. 

"ECM has a leading position within the bingo hall sector, including its extensive range of handheld devices that enable players to enjoy a digital experience within a familiar retail environment," Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer said.

"This is a significant step in strengthening and expanding our Playtech ONE offering within the bingo sector and we look forward to working with Allen and the whole ECM team."

Shares in Playtech plc (Co.Data) (LSE:PTEC) were trading up 1.08 per cent on the news at 938.50 pence per share in London early Friday.