Jackpot Joy has agreed to buy a majority stake in its tech supplier, Gamesys, for £490m – a deal which will see its valuation jump by 50 percent.
The purchase will create an enlarged multi-vertical entity capped towards the £1bn mark, with vital access to the US market. It will now be rebranded as the Gamesys Group, and find itself some way into the FTSE 250 listing.
The terms are for JPJ to acquire Gamesys platform and bingo studio, as well as its New Jersey-licensed Virgin Casino tethered to Tropicana. It will also take on Gamesys B2C gaming sites (Virgin Games, Heart Bingo and Monopoly Casino) but not the recently launched Virgin Bet (see Companies).
JPJ executive chairman Neil Goulden said the takeover was an ”important transformational step” in the group’s growth. “For shareholders, we expect the acquisition to deliver earnings accretion in the first full financial year of ownership, while our employees will benefit from the combination of two companies with a strong commitment to responsible gaming and where the greater scale will further enhance our product development and technology capabilities,” he added.
“Our customers will also now have an even greater choice of major brands and different games, all on one platform, creating a truly leading UK and international operator.”
Both parties to the transaction have been expanding steadily in the past 12 months. Gamesys, which already supplies technology, gaming content and support to JPJ, made revenues of £223m in 2018 – up 12.2 percent on 2017 – the bulk of which came from gaming, via its 239,400 active monthly users.
JPJ, which enjoys a loyal customer base at both Jackpot Joy and Vera & John brands, grew by 13 percent in just the first quarter this year, to £83m. It’s share price is up 25 percent this year already.