NYX eyes the UK market with Betdigital acquisition

NYX Merger
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In the latest in a series of M&A moves, NYX has acquired games development studio Betdigital, a fast-growing enterprise that develops games for the UK online and retail market, for a maximum consideration of £24.6m.

 

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]S-based games platform provider NYX is set to acquire Betdigital, a prominent UK-facing games studio, in the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions.

According to NYX, the Betdigital acquisition will give it access to a games studio that specialises in developing content specifically for the UK retail and online markets, as well as new opportunities for games design and development.

“In Betdigital, we have identified an asset that will strengthen our reach and underpin the global content strategy of the company,” said NYX chief executive Matt Davey. “Particularly, Betdigital allows NYX to strengthen its position in the UK market, providing another unique flavour of regional expertise and omni-channel content that will benefit NYX and OpenBet customers and shareholders immediately and over the long term.”

Founded in 2011 to develop content and systems for the UK and international gaming markets, Betdigital is best known for their development of a cross-platform gaming engine that enables third party and online game developers to bring their content to the landbased gaming market.

The £24.6m maximum purchase price – equivalent to 2.51 times the company’s annual EBITDA – consists of an upfront cash payment and earn out over three years. According to NYX, the total assets acquired were less than five percent of its total assets as of March 31, 2016.

Heath Samples, CEO and general counsel at Betdigital, stated: “We are well-positioned to help NYX gain maximum returns from their plans for omni-channel expansion. Being a part of the NYX family will accelerate Betdigital’s growth story by leveraging the cross sell opportunities available with the NYX customer base and by providing them with worldclass content.”

NYX hit the headlines in May this year when the company enlisted the help of bookmaking giant William Hill in order to drum up the funds to acquire sports betting solutions supplier OpenBet. After a brief bidding war between industry giants across the B2B and B2C sectors of the industry, NYX managed to drum up the capital necessary for the purchase.

“NYX is particularly strong on casino content, OpenBet enormously strong in sportsbetting – we can now start to incorporate best practice around the group on the back of that,” Davey said at the time. “This is not our first rodeo, we’ve already handled a number of acquisitions, with five last year, and we’re comfortable with how we roll out the integration of these businesses.”

The company has held to its strong growth forecasts for the remainder of the financial year, but has not ruled out further acquisitions if new opportunities arise. “We’ve got a complete product set and we’re very comfortable with all of our assets, but that said, if the right opportunity presents itself and it makes sense for us both strategically and for our shareholders then obviously we’ll look into it,” said Davey.

Analysis

It’s understandable that many of the biggest suppliers are turning their backs on bricks and mortar in favour of the 21st-century glitz of online, but in strengthening their UK retail repertoire, NYX could just be on to something. In Great Britain alone, there are still well over 8,000 betting shops, each equipped with several machines – and B2 gaming continues to rise in popularity.

Furthermore, big names like William Hill have been redoubling their efforts in the retail gaming sector with the aim of stimulating cross channel migration between land-based and online. As a specialist in omni-channel solutions that cater for retail operators, Betdigital seem like the perfect way in to this arena – adding yet another string to NYX’s ever-expanding bow.


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