Entain is looking to consolidate its European footprint, bidding the eye-watering $1 billion to acquire Olympic Entertainment Group, an Estonian-based gambling firm with a substantial footprint in the Baltic markets. The news was reported by Front Sports Office and Bloomberg, citing sources close to the matter.
The deal is precious to Entain as Olympic has ties with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and has been a recognized betting partner for the organization since August 2020. Should Entain’s bid be clear, it will be able to tap into NBA data through Olympic, and specifically in Estonia, Latvia, and Slovakia.
Olympic’s Assets Are a Tempting Prospect for Entain
Meanwhile, Olympic’s platform and network extends to over 100 casinos and betting halls, giving a potential future owner significant access to those markets. OlyBet, the company’s digital brand, is also there to channel additional betting and gaming activity.
Through OlyBet, European customers in the company’s active markets have access to the NBA Pick ‘Em” game, which has been touched up to best accommodate the region’s sports fans’ preferences.
According to Bloomberg sources, the Entain bid is focused on the company’s operations in Lithuania and Croatia. Furthermore, Entain may seek to pay more money to Novalpina, the company that owns the gambling firm, at the beginning of 2023 based on business performance.
People close to the matter said that Entain has offered to inject liquidity in the business prior to the takeover move. In exchange, it expects concessions from bondholders, such as the extension of debt maturity.
Investors Looking To Recoup Their Investment
Private equity firm Novalpina is divesting its gambling arm as it finds itself beleaguered over the NSO Group scandal, which it owns. NSO Group is the company that developed the infamous Pegasus software that had been used to successfully spy on government officials, C-level executives, and other powerbrokers illegally.
Through offloading Olympic, Novalpina backers could be able to recoup their investment and wipe the slate clean. Olympic is effectively one of the last remaining properties owned by the equity firm.
Meanwhile, Entain recently fended off a bid by DraftKings, which was valued at $22.4 billion. The company, though, had to turn it down for several reasons, including its ongoing partnership with MGM Resorts in BetMGM, which could have put the sports betting entity at a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, mergers and acquisitions in the gambling industry carry on. Playtech has attracted renewed interest from numerous parties trying to acquire the business. Originally, Aristocrat put forward a $3.7 billion bid for the company, followed by Gopher, who decided to withdraw.
At the same time, JKO Group, a consortium led by former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan, also seems interested in acquiring Playtech’s assets. Entain has also been pushing ahead with a series of acquisitions of its own.
Previously known as GVC Holdings, the company has found a new identity and purpose as a champion of innovative entertainment and responsible gaming after the rebranding.