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Julie Moraine July 5, 2023 3 min read
Entain, Superbet Withdraw Interest in Slovenia’s Sports Lottery
Entain was willing to pay between €50 million and €60 million for the stake in Sports Lottery
The saga of the sale of Slovenia’s Sports Lottery has come to a sudden end after both candidates to acquire a stake, Entain and Superbet, withdrew their applications.
Purchase Applications Withdrawn
Slovenia’s Ministry of Finance announced that negotiations for the acquisition of a major stake in the state-run sports betting operator, Sports Lottery (Športna Loterija) have been stopped as both candidates, global gambling group Entain and Romanian-based casino group Superbet, decided to withdraw.
“We can confirm that, after weighing the opportunities, Entain has decided not to continue the process for the purchase of a stake in Sports Lottery for the time being,” the gambling operator responded to media requests for comments without providing further details and refusing to comment on possible entry in the Slovenian market in the future.
For the past few weeks, the three organizations holding a majority stake of 57% in Sports Lottery, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, the Football Association of Slovenia and the Skiing Association of Slovenia, have been pushing for the sale due to concerns related to the opening of the sports betting market in the country.
Reports circulated that the FTSE100-listed gambling group was looking to enter the domestic sports betting market and offered to pay between €50 million ($54.5 million) and €60 million ($65.4 million) for Sports Lottery, bidding in partnership with some rich businessmen from the Czech Republic.
Commitment to Supporting Slovenian Sport
The price offered by Entain was found sufficient by one of the three organizations running Slovenian sport, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, but it insisted that the future buyer of the stake in Sports Lottery should commit to providing financial support for the development of the sport in Slovenia.
While sharing the same concern with the state representatives leading the negotiations, the Olympic Committee also said it would give up the sale if the state commits to maintaining the monopoly of Sports Lottery in the sports betting market.
The other candidate, the operator of land-based casinos in ten European countries, Superbet, reportedly was ready to pay slightly more than Entain to acquire the stake in the state-owned sports betting operator.
Last month, the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral agreed to acquire Polish sports betting company STS Holding in a deal worth £750 million ($952.5 million) after the bid was approved by the company’s two largest shareholders with a collective stake of 70%, Mateusz Juroszek and Zbigniew Juroszek.
Just days after the deal was announced, the acquisition was called “destructive” in an open letter to the board by the owner of 13.2 million shares in Entain, the New York-based investment firm, Eminence Capital.