Entain Eyes Baltic Expansion with OEG Bid
Entain has reportedly made an offer of $1 billion to buy out the Estonian gambling operator Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG).
The report, which first appeared in Bloomberg and cited anonymous sources, claimed that Entain is hoping to acquire the company’s online business, OlyBet, together with its operations in Lithuania and Croatia. The deal is also said to include the option to buy Olympic’s outstanding business in early 2023 based upon its performance.
Roughly 100 European casinos are operated by OEG, most of which are based in the Baltics: in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. If the acquisition were to take place, it would make Entain the largest operator in the region. However, as of yet, there has been no official word or statement from either Entain or OEG regarding the takeover.
The acquisition would build upon Entain’s recent purchase of Enlabs AB. Entain bought the Swedish iGaming company for €370 million, and in doing so, it brought the Optibet brand under the Entain umbrella. Optibet is OEG’s main rival in the online gambling space, and at the time of the acquisition, Entain said that it was in line with its expansion into new markets.
Adding credence to the rumors of the acquisition is the position of OEG’s owner, the London-based private equity firm Novalpina Capital. Novalpina Capital acquired OEG for €300 million in 2018, but the firm has since been rocked by a number of scandals.
Earlier this year, Novalpina was hit by the Pegasus spyware scandal, which resulted in the company entering liquidation. Therefore, the company may be seeking to sell OEG to reclaim some of its investment.
These rumors come soon after DraftKings abandoned its attempts to acquire Entain. The US-based sports betting brand put forward a $20 billion bid for Entain in late September. However, after missing a deadline, it decided not to make a firm offer.