Betsson AB will acquire Nordic Gaming Group (NGG), a private gaming company based in Malta, owning the brands, NordicBet, Tobet and Triobet. NGG offers gaming in the form of sportsbook, casino and poker to, primarily, Nordic and Baltic customers. Through this acquisition, Betsson secures its position as the largest private alternative to the Nordic monopolies. This acquisition will not affect the previously communicated dividend proposal.
"Through this transaction, Betsson continues to strengthen its Nordic operations and its leading position amongst the private gaming company alternatives in the Nordic region. In addition, Betsson's brand portfolio is strengthened significantly within the betting segment, as NGG receives approximately fifty percent of its revenues from sportsbook", states Magnus Silfverberg, CEO and President of Betsson. In 2011, NGG increased its revenues by 37 percent. During the period 1 April 2011- 31 March 2012, revenues amounted to MEUR 50 and operating income (EBIT) to MEUR 111. At the beginning of 2012, the number of active depositing customers totaled 90,000 and the company has 185 employees. In addition to the income contributed by NGG, it is deemed that synergy effects will be achieved, for example, through the integration of technology platforms and of supplier agreements. As Betsson has a major recruitment need, management believes that the synergies will primarily result in a welcomed injection of qualified staff, which can be utilised within other parts of Betsson which are currently undergoing a strong expansion. Betsson is acquiring NGG from a number of individuals, including both the founders of the company, members of management and employees, as well as from external investors. At closing of the transaction, Betsson will pay a purchase price for the operations (enterprise value) totalling MEUR 65, of which MEUR 5 will be paid either in the form of Betsson shares at a historical 10 day average price or in cash, and the remaining MEUR 60 will be paid in cash. The purchase price is equivalent to 5.9 times EBIT during the last 12 months (1 April 2011 - 31 March 2012). In addition to the up-front purchase price, an additional purchase price, based on the development of NGG during 2012, may become payable by Betsson. Such additional purchase price, if any, will amount to a maximum of MEUR 20, which implies that the total maximum purchase price is MEUR 85. If the outcome of the acquisition results in the full additional purchase price becoming payable, the total purchase price is expected to correspond to approximately 6-7 times NGG's EBIT for 2012. Betsson is entitled to choose to pay any additional purchase price in cash or in Betsson B shares, based on the share price prevailing at the time of such payment. Completion of the transaction is conditional upon customary regulatory approvals.
Betsson has secured a two-year external financing of the transaction, amounting to MSEK 500, which at the current base rate results in an interest rate of approximately 4 percent. The facility will be fully utilized at closing and will be amortised at an appropriate rate which considers the company's dividend policy.
"For NGG, this is an attractive solution as the company can incorporate Betsson's global strength into its operations and it strengthens our possibilities to continue to grow rapidly and with good profitability in the Nordic region, the Baltics and Poland. The two companies have similar cultures, and we foresee a smooth integration, and we believe that we can quickly benefit from each other's strengths ", says Per Hellberg, CEO of NGG.