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LONDON, England -- Unibet Group plc (STO:UNIB) today proclaim that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Betchoice Corporation Pty Ltd, one of Australias chief independent corporate bookmakers online. Betchoice operates a range of sports and racing betting products in the Australian market.
“In addition to benefit from the previously obtainable Australian product offering, the attainment of Betchoice will offer Unibet with a platform to facilitate other gambling services and opportunities should market conditions continue to improve.”
The deal, which is Unibets second in a regulated market in recent months:
Provides right of entry to the fast growing Australian online market;
Represents a solid platform from which to invest further and gain market share;
Positions Unibet well for the predictable opening of live betting products in Australia at some stage in the future;
Provides Unibet with horse racing capability which can be leveraged further across the group
The original attaining price is AUD 20.0 million (GBP 13.6 million), on a cash free and debt free basis, payable in cash on closing. In addition, there is an earn-out for Mark Morrissey, founder, Chairman and 38% shareholder based on 5.5x 2014 EBITDA in Australia less the original possession price who will linger with the business post completion. A further AUD 2.4 million in collective will be owed to certain other shareholders, if 2014 EBITDA in Australia exceeds AUD 4.4 million.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by the Northern Territory Racing Commission and is predictable to take place before the end of the second quarter of 2012.
Unibet intends to rebrand the platform from Betchoice to Unibet following a short evolution period.
Over the next two years, Unibet will invest considerably in improving the Australian product portfolio and in marketing to establish the Unibet brand in the fast growing Australian market. Applying the wider sports product range and risk management techniques within Kambi, Unibets B2B Sportsbook division, to Betchoice will improve Betchoices offering and financial performance. Kambi will also benefit from integrating Betchoices racing product within its portfolio.
As a result of the initial strategic investments to support future growth, Unibet does not expect the attainment to have a significant financial impact on Unibets reported profits for 2012. The acquisition is not expected to impact the proposed dividend for 2011 to be proclaimed in connection with the 2011 year end report.
Betchoice currently employs around 35 people in Australia who will be incorporated into the Unibet team. Betchoice operates under a Northern Territory sports bookmaking licence and has offices in Darwin and Sydney.
“This strategic attainment gives Unibet instant access to the regulated Australian market, which is at present open to sports betting and horse racing. We intend to rebrand the business quickly to Unibet. Betchoice already has a strong offering and market position in horse racing and through Kambi, Unibet has the chance to improve the quality and performance of Betchoices sports betting offering and so to deliver revenue growth and margin improvements,” says Henrik Tjärnström, CEO Unibet.
“In addition to advantage from the previously obtainable Australian product offering, the acquisition of Betchoice will provide Unibet with a platform to make potential other gambling services and opportunities should market conditions continue to improve.”
Mark Morrissey, co-founder and Chairman of Betchoice says, “We are pleased to become part of the wider Unibet group. There is a considerable market opportunity in Australia and with Unibets proficiency in marketing and risk management, together with its market-leading sports betting offering, I am confident that we can increase considerably our market share and establish Unibet as one of the leading brands in Australia.”
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