Apollo-Backed Gamenet Takes IGT’s Italian Gambling Business in € 950 Million Deal

By Ucatchers

Gamenet, the Apollo Global Management-backed gaming company, will acquire IGT’s Italian B2C business for € 950 million (approximately $ 1.2 billion) in cash.

This is the latest in a series of gaming deals Apollo has been pursuing for the past several months. At one point, the US private equity firm was competing for British sportsbook William Hill, but its offer lost to a rival offer from casino giant Caesars Entertainment.

The agreement for IGT’s Italian gaming division includes the b2c game machine of the company listed in the United States, the sports betting and digital gaming operations. IGT said it would maintain some operations in Italy, including a locally popular lottery game.

Gamenet’s acquisition of the assets values ​​Lottomatica Videoslot Rete and Lottomatica Scommesse from IGT at around € 1,100 million, including debt. The two businesses generated around € 207 million in aggregate Adjusted EBITDA last year. IGT said the units would sell at “an attractive multiple.”

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021. IGT said it would use the net proceeds from the sale to reduce debt.

IGT CEO Marco Sala said of the agreement that “rebalancing our business and geographic mix reformulates and simplifies our priorities while improving the company’s future profit margin, cash flow generation and profile. of debt. “

A series of agreements

Apollo has been aggressively looking to buy gaming assets in recent months and has been involved in several major deals in the sector.

In September, William Hill, the leading British sportsbook, announced that the US private equity firm had approached it with an informal takeover offer. The Apollo Offer lost to a Caesars Entertainment rivalbut said last month that it was interested in buying William Hill’s business outside of the United States, which the new owner of the gambling giant intends to sell.

It was in November again that Apollo backed the Czech lottery operator SAZKA Group with an investment of € 500 million as the company competes for the fourth operational tender of the UK National Lottery.

Last month, Apollo also submitted a C $ 3.3 billion offer for Canadian casino operator Great Canadian Gaming that marked the last big game changer for the North American land-based casino industry.

The private equity firm announced in fall 2019 that it would acquire a 48.67% stake in Gamenet and it would remove the Italian gambling company from the Milan stock exchange. In two separate deals, Apollo purchased a 28.67% stake in Gamenet from TCP Lux Eurinvest and a 20% stake from Intralot Italian Investments for a total of € 182.5 million. The deal was closed last February.

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