Entain Plc has disclosed its plans to become the leading Central and Eastern European betting business by launching a new venture Entain CEE. Entain also has agreed to acquire a majority stake in leading Croatian betting group SuperSport for €600m.
The deal will see Entain acquire a 75% stake in SuperSport from Czech investment fund EMMA Capital, which has subsequently become a partner in the formation of Entain CEE.
Updating investors, Entain leadership outlined the strategic rationale for the firm’s latest M&A, branding CEE’s markets as underpenetrated and highly attractive.
SuperSport was branded as the scale-proof operator for CCE markets that had achieved 54% market share in Croatia, with growth underpinned by its own proprietary technology.
Group CEO Jette Nygaard-Anderson explained: “We are excited to create Entain CEE with EMMA to underpin our strategy across the CEE region and to be acquiring the leading betting and gaming operator in the highly attractive, fully regulated Croatian market”.
Deal terms stipulate that Entain reserves a three-year option to acquire EMMA’s 25%, allowing the company to take outright control of the Entain CEE business.
The firm’s investment in SuperSport will be financed through a €700 bridge loan underwritten by Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Mediobanca, NatWest, and Santander.
Shortly Entain CEE will be led by the executive team of SuperSport under the leadership of Chief Executive Radim Haluza, tasked with identifying further Eastern European growth opportunities.
Radim Haluza commented: “I am looking forward to joining Entain. The prospect of leading Entain CEE to drive expansion in fully regulated markets is an exciting opportunity, and EMMA’s investment expertise combined with Entain’s world-class platform will give us the competitive edge in delivering on the CEE opportunity.”
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