Paf Increases Latvian Presence with Major Acquisitions from 888
Paf, the Nordic iGaming operator, has announced the acquisition of two popular Latvian gaming sites, WilliamHill.lv and MrGreen.lv. The purchases have made the operator the third largest in the Latvian market.
Both websites were acquired from 888 Holdings Plc, an internationally famous gaming operator. The acquisition covered all of 888’s Latvian operations including the sites’ Latvian licenses from the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection Republic of Latvia. The sale was agreed for €28.3 million on a cash-free, debit-free basis.
An initial consideration of €24 million is to be paid in cash upon completion of the transaction and the balance will be paid in 2024 after the completion of the 2023 audited financials. Paf will own 90% of the company and continue to use the William Hill and Mr Green brands for a limited time.
For Paf, this is a good long-term investment in the Latvian market. We have been operating there since 2018 and we aim to build a stable position in the market. The gaming sites’ current customers will not notice any difference directly when we take over the business. For Paf, it also means that we will have a new office in Riga where more than twenty employees will become a part of Paf.
The executive chair of 888, Lorn Mendelsohn, explained, “We continually review our asset base to ensure that we are only holding assets that both contribute to our long-term strategy and will maximise value for our shareholders. As a business, our relatively limited exposure in the Baltic region means that the region is not one of our core or growth markets where we prioritise our investments.”
The acquisition by Paf marks a significant change in the dynamics of the Latvian gaming market. This expansion solidifies Paf's position and commitment to this fast-growing sector, while 888's strategic divestment underscores a broader trend in the gaming industry of refocusing resources on core markets. Industry observers will be keenly watching how this deal will influence market competition in Latvia and potentially set a precedent for other operators looking to expand or consolidate their geographical portfolios. Furthermore, the move highlights the continuing trend of consolidation within the gaming sector as companies aim to leverage brand recognition, streamline operations, and gain economies of scale.