Estonia – Entain makes US1bn bid for Olympic Entertainment GroupBy Lewis - 21 November 2021
Entain is pursuing a takeover of Olympic Entertainment Group, one of the Baltic region’s largest gambling companies. The indicative cash offer values OEG at US$1bn. Entain’s proposal includes an upfront payment to acquire Olympic’s online business and operations in Lithuania and Croatia, as well as an additional earnout to be paid in early 2023 depending on performance.
Entain has turned hunter after itself being an acquisition target for the best part of 2021. US gambling firm DraftKings Inc decided against making a firm offer to acquire Entain in late October, which was preceded by MGM Resorts International’s bid back in January, which also failed to come to fruition.
Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings Plc, has itself grown through acquisitions, including the takeover of Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc agreed in 2017 and the purchase of Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc signed in 2015. Entain has made its own bids and acquisitions this year. Entain acquired Swedish gaming company Enlabs AB to further expand in the Baltics and also sought to acquire the wagering business of Australian firm Tabcorp Holding.
According to Bloomberg, the current bid with Olympic would see Entain seeking an option to buy OEG’s remaining operations in additional countries in early 2023. Entain would also offer to inject liquidity into that part of the business before it buys those assets, in return for concessions from bondholders including an extension of the debt maturity.
Olympic has operations in countries including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Italy and is one of the few remaining assets of London-based Novalpina Capital, part of the NSO Group, which collapsed earlier this year and whose funds are now held by Berkeley Research Group. OEG, which Novalpina acquired in 2018 for US$325m, has grown through acquisitions that helped it expand into markets including Romania and Croatia.
Shares of Entain were down 1.6 per cent at the close Friday in London, ending the day at the lowest level in two months.