itruvian, which is already familiar with the betting industry through last year's us$ 118 million acquisition of Inspired Gaming, is buying OpenBet for cash from NDS – the technology supplier to the pay-TV industry owned by News Corporation and Permira funds.
The buy-out is being led by David Loveday, OpenBet's chief executive, whose management team will hold a minority stake. Completion of the deal is subject to certain regulatory approvals.
OpenBet, which last year changed its name from Orbis Technology and has negligible debts, was founded in 1996. It has grown to become the leading provider of interactive gaming and betting solutions to the gambling industry.
It provides the technical platforms on which bookmakers and lotteries handle millions of transactions, enabling punters to bet and play casino-type games in different languages and currencies. The technology allows customers to use the same account to bet across different channels, such as on the web, via mobile phones and in betting shops.
NDS bought the business in 2000 and the price is thought to represent a multiple in the low teens of OpenBet's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Buying Chiswick-based OpenBet will prompt speculation that Vitruvian will eventually try to merge the company with Inspired Gaming, the supplier of software for bookies' fixed-odds betting terminals. Mr Loveday said Vitruvian had a "deep understanding of our business".
The deal has the backing of OpenBet's clients. Ralph Topping, William Hill chief executive, said Vitruvian's backing represented "a fantastic opportunity for OpenBet to further their development".