JPJ Group plc, the owner of the Jackpotjoy online bingo and casino brand, today announced that it would acquire gambling software company Gamesys in a £490 million deal. The enlarged entity will be renamed as Gamesys Group Plc.
JPJ said today that the deal would not include Gamesys’ Virgin Bet branded sports betting business (which Gamesys debuted earlier this month), the recently purchased Livescore sports data and media business, a non-bingo games studio and supply business, a minority stake in a Norwegian games technology business Gamesys currently holds as well as a minority stake in a US sports betting venture.
JPJ is moving to acquire Gamesys four years after it bought the Jackpotjoy brand from Gamesys. JPJ operated as Intertain Group Ltd. back then. Following that acquisition, Gamesys continued to power Jackpotjoy with content and operational support.
JPJ said today that with the acquisition of Gamesys, it would assume ownership of Jackpotjoy’s technology platform supplier and would reduce its reliance on third-party providers.
Details about the Deal
Under the terms of the multi-million deal, JPJ will acquire Gamesys’ Virgin Games, Virgin Casino, Monopoly Casino, and Heart Bingo games content and brand licenses. The deal is set to diversify the enlarged company’s portfolio of brands and to create “a platform for international growth, particularly with globally recognised brands in Virgin and Monopoly.”
JPJ will buy Gamesys for a total valuation of around £490 million. The purchase price comprises £250 million of cash, of which £175 million JPJ will fund through its existing debt facilities, and 33.7 million in newly issued shares worth approximately £240 million.
The deal is subject to JPJ shareholder approval, customary regulatory conditions and the reorganization of Gamesys Group into a group of businesses that would comprise the assets that will be part of the transaction. The deal is expected to be finalized during the third quarter of the year.
Lee Fenton, the current CEO of Gamesys, will step in as the CEO of the enlarged group. Commenting on the deal, Mr. Fenton said:
“I am very excited to join the Enlarged Group as CEO. This is a strategically important transaction that adds scale and combines complementary capabilities as the competitive and regulatory environment continues to evolve.”
News about the JPJ acquiring Gamesys came several months after the former entered into an £18 million deal to sell its Mandalay operating unit, including the Costa Bingo brand, to online gambling operator 888 Holdings.
Benefits from the Gamesys Deal
JPJ hailed its planned combination with Gamesys as a strategic deal that will deliver attractive financial benefits to the enlarged group. The company expects the transaction to generate annual cost savings of “single digit millions” pounds during the first full year after completion.
Adding Gamesys’ brands, the combined entity will boast “an enhanced portfolio of complementary and market-leading games content and brand licenses” that will enhance its ability to increase player retention, cut cost per acquisition, and “increase the overall lifetime player value.” The enlarged business will also be better positioned for international growth.
JPJ also noted that the deal provides it with a platform to further grow its presence in the US gambling market through a previously penned supply deal between Gamesys and Tropicana Atlantic City, known to be the second largest casino in Atlantic City by revenue.
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