Betsson Acquires betFIRST and Partners with Groupe Partouche to Enter Belgian Market
Betsson AB, a renowned online gambling company, has announced its acquisition of betFIRST, a leading Belgian sports betting, and gaming operator.
The deal, valued at EUR 120 million, solidifies Betsson's entry into the Belgian market and aligns with the company's long-term growth strategy focused on regulated markets.
Established in 2011, betFIRST has gained prominence in Belgium's online gaming market, offering sports betting and dice games. With a strong reputation for customer acquisition and revenue growth, betFIRST holds licenses for online sports betting and online dice games. In addition to its online presence, the company operates around 450 points of sale and owns a gaming arcade. In the last financial year, betFIRST recorded impressive net gaming revenue of EUR 51.2 million and adjusted EBITDA of EUR 10.0 million.
The acquisition will see Betsson acquire all shares in the betFIRST Group for an initial consideration of EUR 117 million, payable in cash. An earnout payment of up to EUR 3 million may be made based on agreed financial targets. The deal is valued at a multiple of 10.0x betFIRST's estimated EBITDA for 2023.
Simultaneously, Betsson has entered into a strategic partnership with Groupe Partouche, a leading French casino operator. Together, they plan to launch an online casino offering in Belgium, subject to obtaining the necessary licenses. Groupe Partouche's expertise in land-based casinos, combined with Betsson's proficiency in the online gaming sector, will create a compelling online casino experience tailored to the Belgian market. Groupe Partouche holds an offline casino license in Belgium that can be extended to cover online operations.
The strategic initiatives of acquiring betFIRST and partnering with Groupe Partouche provide Betsson with crucial access to the competitive Belgian market, a broader geographical footprint, and increased revenue from regulated markets. Betsson intends to maintain the betFIRST sports betting business while exploring synergies for future growth.
We are very excited about entering the Belgian market together with our partners Groupe Partouche and see a strong strategic fit with the acquisition of betFIRST. At Betsson, our growth strategy revolves around extending our presence into new markets, particularly in locally regulated or soon-to-be regulated markets. Belgium, where the online gaming market is regulated since 2011, aligns very well with this strategy. Our business model is highly scalable, and these initiatives will add revenue and strengthen our profitability over time.
Betsson is financing the acquisition using existing cash from its balance sheet and available credit facilities. The completion of the betFIRST acquisition is expected to take place around July 5, 2023, and does not depend on regulatory approvals.
Betsson's strategic moves in Belgium mark a significant step towards expanding its global presence, capitalizing on regulated markets, and delivering profitable growth in the long term. With the acquisition of betFIRST and the partnership with Groupe Partouche, Betsson is well-positioned to capture the opportunities presented by Belgium's thriving online gambling industry.