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Entain sets its sites on the Baltics with an offer to acquire Olympic Casinos

Olympic Entertainment Group is in the crosshairs of Entain for a $1 billion+ acquisition. The British firm, formerly known as GVC Holdings Plc, is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions has become the world’s largest online gambling company in the past through the acquisition of Digital Entertainment Plc and Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc.

More recently Entain has been courted for takeover itself by MGM Resorts International and most recently by DraftKings Inc.

The offer, first reported by Bloomberg Law, has not been independently confirmed. However, other highly reliable sources are picking up enough chatter and insider information to make the case for the veracity of the story continuing to hold water.

Olympic is based in Estonia and runs casinos as well as online operations. It is one of the Baltic region’s largest gambling concerns.

Cash Tender Plus Earnouts for Performance

G3 Newswire notes that the proposed acquisition would begin with a cash payment to take over the group’s Estonian and Croatian businesses as well as their online operations and pot sweeteners would be paid by performance earnouts as soon as early 2023.

While the target company’s base of operations in the Baltic, World Casino Directory counts over 120 land-based locations in geos are far-flung as Malta and Italy as well as Lithuania, Latvia, and of course, Estonia. Olympic owns and operates the popular online sites, Olybet and Maxbet.

According to reports, Entain seeks options on the purchase of global assets beyond the original tranche with procurement occurring in early 2023 including a complicated formula of liquid infusions to gain concessions from bondholders. Among the concessions would be an extension of the time the debts are due to be paid.

The reason this article was found in Bloomberg Law is the bankruptcy of the NSO Group, the parent company of London’s Novalpina Capital, which has liquidated most of its assets but whose funds are under the control of Berkeley Research Group. Novalpina acquired Olympic in 2018 for $325 million prior to an acquisition spree by Olympic that opened new markets including Romania and Croatia.

Group has Ties to the U.S. NBA

According to Wikipedia, “NSO Group Technologies (NSO standing for Niv, Shalev and Omri, the names of the company’s founders) is an Israeli technology firm primarily known for its proprietary spyware Pegasus, which is capable of remote zero-click surveillance of smartphones. It was founded in 2010 by Niv Karmi, Omri Lavie, and Shalev Hulio.

NSO was blacklisted in the early part of November along with another Israeli firm, Condiro by the U.S. Biden Administration for providing technology that could be or was used to target journalists, activists, and embassy workers.

Perhaps more interesting to our readership and to Entain as well is the fact that Olympic is the official betting partner of the U.S. NBA in multiple markets and owns the biggest casino in the Baltics with Olympic Voodoo Casino in Riga, Latvia.

Source: Entain Offers $1 Billion to Buy Baltic NBA Betting Partner, Bloomberg Law, November 19, 2021

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