talian gaming group Sisal has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to list its shares on the Milan Stock Exchange, the company said on Tuesday. Sisal, which was bought by CVC Capital Partners in 2016, said the IPO will consist of shares sold by the private equity firm.
The IPO was initially expected in the first quarter of next year, Reuters reported last month. Sisal’s IPO filing points toward a revival of new listings on the Milan bourse, following the announcement of listing plans by make-up supplier Intercos earlier this week. Only three companies debuted on the main market so far this year.
The gaming group obtains most of its revenues from the Italian market, although it has expanded abroad, obtaining licenses for both retail and online gaming in Turkey, Morocco and Spain. In addition, the group is also in the race to run the UK National Lottery.
The Italian group confirmed its entry into the Gambling Commission’s competition to select the operator of the fourth license to run the UK National Lottery earlier this year, in April. The company said its participation in lottery tenders shows so far “a perfect record” of three wins in three, with licenses in Morocco, Italy and Turkey.
Sisal has more than 2,200 employees globally and a network of about 50,000 points of sales. “Sisal was founded seventy-five years ago by three sports journalists who wanted to help rebuild Italy’s war-damaged football stadiums and revive community participation in sport,” described CEO Francesco Durante. “By long experience, we know the powerful positive impact games and lotteries can have when they are fun to play and they are directed towards serving a good cause.”
The Milan-based group reported a 26% year-on-year rise in first-half revenue to 263.6 million euros, with online gaming offsetting a decline in retail activities, which were hit amidst pandemic-related lockdowns. First-half core profit rose nearly 50% to 99.5 million euros, further said Reuters. Last month, sources told the news source CVC was eyeing a valuation of at least 2.2 billion euros.
Sisal’s IPO filing marks its second attempt to go public: in 2014, the group pulled plans for an initial public offering, citing unfavorable market conditions.
Deutsche Bank Equita SIM, J.P. Morgan and UniCredit Corporate & Investment Banking are the global coordinators in Sisal's IPO, while Lazard is the company's financial advisor.