Future Looks Bright for GVC Holdings Following Crystalbet Takeover

GVC Holdings has bolstered its position in the iGaming market with another acquisition ahead of its much-anticipated takeover of Ladbrokes Coral.

Crystalbet.

GVC has bought a controlling stake in online poker, casino and betting site Crystalbet for £38 million. (Image: YouTube/Crystalbet Official)

In an announcement made on March 5, GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander announced that the company had purchased 51 percent of Georgian casino, poker and betting site, Crystalbet.

Under the terms of the deal, GVC will pay £38 million for a controlling stake in the company, before a complete buyout takes place in 2021.

Another Shrewd Move

Assuming the transition runs smoothly and Crystalbet performs as expect, GVC will pay an additional £90 million to take full control of the company in three years’ time. According to the official press release, Crystalbet earned £10 million in revenue during the financial year to December 31, 2017.

As well as purchasing a company that generated £9.1 million in profit last year, GVC has added yet another regulated platform to its portfolio. During a previous attempt to purchase Ladbrokes Coral, negotiations fell apart due to GVC’s presence in unregulated markets.

Although unconfirmed, it was estimated that the company drew around 30 percent of its revenue from countries classed as legally “grey” areas. With the UK Gambling Commission and the Ladbrokes Coral board unwilling to sanction a deal with a company linked to unregulated platforms, changes were made.

Sales and Acquisitions Bolster GVC’s Position

In November 2017, GVC announced the sale of its Turkish asset, Headlong Limited, before confirming the sale six weeks later.

“Further to the announcement made on 2 November 2017, the Board of GVC is pleased to advise that following receipt of the required regulatory approvals, the sale of Headlong Limited and other companies to Ropso Malta Limited has now been completed,” read a December 20 completion notice.

After exiting the unregulated Turkish market, both GVC and Ladbrokes Coral executives agreed to a £3.9 billion takeover deal. At this stage, both sides are working through the finer points of the deal while the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) carries out its own review.

Should the CMA conclude that the takeover won’t adversely harm the UK gambling industry or consumers, GVC hopes to complete the process as soon as possible.

William Hill Offloads Aussie Assets

While GVC has added another brand to its ever-evolving enterprise, William Hill recently announced the sale of its Australian assets. Following regulatory changes and a £75 million loss, the UK operator has agreed to sell its three Aussie betting sites to CrownBet.

The deal is worth £168 million and will see William Hill divest TomWaterhouse.com, Sportingbet Australia and Centrebet and use the proceeds to reduce its debt and expand the business.

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