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Betsson strikes in Belgium with €120 betFIRST purchase

Betsson Group news - Sign deal with Boca Juniors

Online gambling company Betsson AB purchased Belgium sportsbook betFIRST Group in a €120 million deal, with the information released publicly on Thursday.

Betsson AB revealed that betFIRST had already agreed to the terms of the deal, which will allow the online gambling firm to join the Belgium iGaming market.

The upfront consideration of the deal was set at €117 million and will be paid on a cash, debt-free basis. Betsson also agreed to pay betFIRST up to €3 million as earnout incentives, provided the company meets specific agreed financial targets.

Betsson (betsson review) resolved the deal’s financial aspects with existing cash from the company’s balance sheets and existing credit facilities. The company will continue operating betFIRST as it currently is while reviewing potential synergies in the mid-to-long term.

The betFIRST acquisition is set to be completed on July 5, 2023. Betsson enlisted the aid of Lazard as its financial advisor during the deal’s proceedings and Van Bael & Bellis and Edson Legal as the company’s legal advisors in Belgium.

betFIRST was established in 2011 and has since become a leading brand in Belgium’s regulated online gaming market. Besides the company’s online presence, betFIRST also owns a gaming arcade and operates around 450 points of sale in the country.

betFIRST reported a net gaming revenue of €51.2 million in the previous financial year, which ended on December 31, and an adjusted EBITDA of €10m.

In a statement, Betsson AB CEO and President Pontus Lindwall revealed that the company was excited about the acquisition and looked forward to entering the Belgian market.

“We are very excited about entering the Belgian market together with our partners Groupe Partouche and see a strong strategic fit with the acquisition of betFIRST,” Lindwall said.

“At Betsson, our growth strategy revolves around extending our presence into new markets, particularly in locally regulated or soon-to-be regulated markets. Belgium, where the online gaming market is regulated since 2011, aligns very well with this strategy. Our business model is highly scalable, and these initiatives will add revenue and strengthen our profitability over time.”

Betsson also announced a new strategic partnership with leading French casino operator Groupe Partouche. The collaboration is aimed at creating a compelling online casino offering using Betsson’s expertise in the online gaming space and the French operator’s land-based casino dominance.

While Groupe Partouche has land-based casinos in Switzerland and France, the company also has an offline casino license in Belgium. This license can also be used as an online casino license, allowing the casino operator to offer a large spread of online casino games in the country.

The first joint online casino offering by the companies is scheduled for launch in Belgium this year, if the necessary gambling licenses are granted.

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