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Flutter completes acquisition of Italian gaming operator Sisal from CVC

Flutter Entertainment announced Friday that it completed its acquisition of Italy's online gaming operator Sisal from CVC Capital on Thursday, after receiving all necessary regulatory confirmations.

The deal was announced in December, for a consideration of approximately $2.1 billion (€1.913B/£1.62B). Flutter said the move is in line with its strategy of "investing to build leadership positions in regulated markets." It follows Flutter's recent acquisition of UK online bingo operator Tombola, which was completed in January.

Sisal has performed "strongly" since the transaction was announced with year-on-year growth of 58% in revenue to £402 million and 51% in EBITDA to £120 million during H1 20221. The prior year was impacted by Covid-related retail restrictions.

The transaction has been completed using debt facilities agreed on at the transaction announcement on 23 December 2021, bringing Flutter's expected weighted average cost of debt to approximately 3.4% for H2 2022.

Sisal is a betting, gaming and lottery operator headquartered in Milan. Approximately 90% of Sisal’s 2021 EBITDA is generated in Italy with the balance coming from regulated lottery operations in Turkey and Morocco. In December, the business employed circa 2,500 people.

Sisal had previously filed a request for an IPO on the Milan Exchange, according to a statement. CVC originally bought Sisal Group in 2016 for 1 billion euros. Sisal manages games including Totocalcio, Totip, and SuperEnalotto. The company’s retail channel will be targeted by existing Flutter brands PokerStars and Betfair, while Sisal’s casino product will get access to Flutter’s in-house gaming content.

Back in December, Peter Jackson, Flutter CEO, spoke about this acquisition and said: “For some time we have wanted to pursue this market opportunity via an omni-channel strategy and this acquisition will ideally position us to do so. Sisal has grown its online presence significantly in recent years, aided by its proprietary platform and commitment to innovation. I’m excited to see how Flutter can complement these capabilities through our scale, differentiated products and operational capabilities.”

Francesco Durante, Sisal Chief Executive, commented back then: “Over the last five years, thanks to CVC’s support, we have successfully transformed Sisal into a leading digital and international gaming company. Through our commitment to digital innovation, international expansion and safer gambling, we have achieved a leadership position in Italy’s online gaming market and developed our global footprint by winning lottery tenders in Morocco and Turkey.”

In February this year, Evolution signed an agreement with Sisal for the provision of online slots and jackpots from the Group’s NetEnt and Red Tiger brands. The deal builds on Sisal’s existing partnership with Evolution for the provision of Live Casino.


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