January 18, 2016

GVC looks to offload parts of Bwin's payments division

Online gambling company GVC is likely to sell parts of Bwin.Party’s payments business this year and has held early talks with payments processing firms.

Kenny Alexander, the chief executive of GVC, said that after the £1.1bn Bwin takeover he would probably offload small parts of its Kalixa division.

Kalixa is a payments services business and the bulk of its work is for Bwin. However, the subsidiary - which began as Bwin’s internal payments department - has grown and now also manages transactions for other companies such as retailers.

Mr Alexander said he was most likely to sell the parts of Kalixa that handle external processing to another payments business.

“We’ll probably look at maybe disposing of bits of that,” he said. “We’ve had very early discussions.”

The GVC boss dismissed suggestions he might sell Bwin’s Foxy Bingo brand, describing it as “a cracking business”.

GVC is today expected to signal its intention to make further acquisitions with the appointment of a well-regarded City analyst as its head of investor relations and corporate strategy.

Nick Batram, who focuses on the gaming and leisure industries for stockbroker Peel Hunt, is to join GVC and part of his role will be to help it to find new M&A targets.

Mr Alexander said that GVC will probably start to look at fresh bid targets in a year, after the Bwin deal.

The gambling chief also said GVC would also probably sign up to the horseracing industry’s controversial new funding scheme, becoming an “authorised betting partner” of the British Horseracing Authority.

Such partners agree to three-year deals to pay a proportion of their racing revenues to the industry. Several bookmakers that already pay the racing levy on their betting shop estates oppose the new funding arrangements

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