Playtech buoyant after Best Gaming Technology (BGT) buy-out

Betting Business, Playtech BGT merger Best Gaming
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Playtech will further strengthen its position in the sports-betting market with the acquisition a 90 percent stake in Austrian software provider Best Gaming Technology.

 

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]ambling software group Playtech have acquired Austrian sports betting software provider Best Gaming Technology (BGT).

The move is the latest in a series of consolidations that has swept through the industry and the buyout sees Playtech poised to penetrate further into the UK, Spanish and Italian markets.

The all-cash deal will see Playtech pay €138m for 90 percent of BGT, whose principle product is its proprietary software for almost 24,000 self-service betting terminals (SSBTs) in betting shop chains such as William Hill and Ladbrokes.

Armin Sageder, BGT’s founder, will retain a 10 percent stake and will remain in post as CEO for at least three years following completion of the transaction. Playtech will have the call option to purchase Sageder’s share at a value of six times BGT’s 2019 earnings (capped at €55), although Sageder could earn a further €5m if BGT hits certain performance targets.

“When I founded BGT in Vienna, Austria, in mid-2005 I had the vision of a high-end provider for the land based sports betting industry with a focus on self-service systems,” said Sageder.

“Having worked through some challenging years in the beginning, BGT has become the number one sports betting technology provider for land based products worldwide.”

All the current members of BGT’s senior management team will stay on board for the same three year period with the company’s offices in Vienna, London and Bremen continuing to operate as normal.

“I believe that BGT and myself have now found the ideal investor in Playtech to enable us to take all retail betting systems, including tills as well as omni-channel and digital solutions to the next level,” Sageder added.

“I am genuinely excited to work with the existing team at BGT and new colleagues at Playtech to accelerate investment and realise these ambitions.”

Playtech has already been treading the acquisitions trail this year, having completed its acquisition of Swedish games supplier Quickspin AB for €50m in May.

“We believe that the future of gaming is for retail operators to digitise their offering,” said Playtech CEO Mor Weizer. “This follows the same trends we see in other commercial sectors around the world, with the modernisation and digitisation of betting shops not only improving the retail experience but also adding a whole new channel as it integrates into an online offering.”

A month earlier in April, sports betting software provider OpenBet – with whom Playtech had previously been linked – was acquired by a group including NYX, William Hill and Sky Bet in a £270m deal.

 

This is a very exciting acquisition that will significantly complement Playtech’s industry-leading Playtech One omni-channel

 

Playtech’s attempt to diversify from sports and casino betting technology into online financial trading came unstuck after regulatory issues scuppered its proposed £460m (€550m) takeover of trading platform Plus500 last November.

Playtech has stated that it is still interested in expanding into financial trading and will look to organically build its presence in the sector.

In addition to SSBT technology, BGT operates an omni-channel web and mobile betting platform and Weizer suggested that BGT’s product line will mesh well with his firm’s own omni-channel offering.

This is a very exciting acquisition that will significantly complement Playtech’s industry-leading Playtech One omni-channel,” added Weizer.

“Playtech One enables players to enjoy a seamless anywhereanytime gaming experience across any product, channel and device using a bespoke player account and single wallet. It also enhances our reach into the sports betting market and increases our exposure to fully regulated markets.”

Playtech released its full-year results to 31 December in February, which showed that revenues had increased from €457m to €630m, with a 22 percent rise up to €251.9m in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation.


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