European lottery operator Allwyn, which has recently been selected by the UK Gambling Commission to replace Camelot as National Lottery operator, has agreed to acquire a 36.75% stake in sports betting brand Betano, property of Greek gaming company Kaizen Gaming. Allwyn is purchasing the stake from Athens-based gambling business OPAP.
The news was confirmed by OPAP in a regulatory filing. The company’s OPAP Investment Limited subsidiary has executed a share purchase agreement with Rubidium Holding 2 Ltd, a fully owned indirect subsidiary of the Czech group Sazka. Allwyn became the new brand of SAZKA Entertainment AG, the parent company of SAZKA Group a.s, in 2021.
The sale involves a 36.75% minority interest in the activities of Kaizen outside Greece and Cyprus (Betano). The purchase price comprises an upfront cash consideration of €50 million ($53.9 million), on a debt-free and cash-free basis; and performance-based earnout payments for financial years 2022, 2023 and 2024, to be paid in 2023, 2024 and 2025 respectively.
“The purchase price corresponds to the fair market value of OPAP Investment’s 36.75% interest in the Betano business, and as such has been evaluated by an independent financial advisor,” a statement explains. “The Betano business has been accounted for under the equity method and contributed EBITDA losses of €0.4m in OPAP’s FY 2021 financial results.”
According to OPAP, the announced transaction reflects the company’s strategic focus “on maintaining and strengthening its leading position in the Greek and Cypriot online gaming markets.” The closing of the transaction is conditional upon the receipt of all regulatory approvals required.
Additionally, the closing is also conditional upon the corporate separation of the Betano business from Kaizen’s business activities in Greece and Cyprus, represented by its remaining stake in Stoiximan Ltd. OPAP said it will retain its 84.49% combined stake and sole control over Stoiximan and its online gaming business in Greece and Cyprus.
Allwyn’s acquisition of this minority stake in Betano follows the UK Gambling Commission’s selection of the lottery business last month to replace Camelot as the National Lottery operator after 28 years.
After almost three decades, Camelot will lose its license to Allwyn as the UKGC elected the Sazka Group brand as its preferred applicant to take over. Allwyn is expected to take over in 2024, while Camelot has been named as the reserve applicant, meaning it would continue to run the lottery in the event that finalization could not be achieved with the preferred candidate in the lottery’s fourt license process.