Playtech looks to close €846 million Snaitech acquisition in June

Online gaming and financial trading company Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) has provided an update of its planned €846 million acquisition of Italian gaming company Snaitech S.p.A.

Playtech stated that it has received formal consent for the transaction from Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli, the Italian gaming regulatory authority – the main regulatory approval required for the acquisition to move forward.

Playtech’s General Meeting of shareholders relating to the transaction will take place next week on May 29, 2018. Assuming shareholder approval, Playtech now expects completion of the initial part of the aquisition to occur in June 2018.

Mor Weizer Playtech

Mor Weizer, Playtech

However, we would note that shareholder approval of management and Board moves at Playtech are no longer a given. In a surprising move, Playtech shareholders recently rejected the Board’s proposed CEO and Directors’ pay policy, in a clear rebuke to both the Board and longtime Playtech CEO Mor Weizer.

Long a provider of online gaming and sports betting software and turnkey solutions to operators, Playtech is expanding into the B2C side of the sector with its acquisition of Snaitech.

Snaitech is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and is licensed by the Italian Monopolies Authority to offer various different gaming services and products, making it a leader in the Italian gaming and betting market. Founded through the integration between Snai Spa and the Cogemat group companies in late 2015, Snaitech has headquarters in Milan, Porcari (Lu) and Rome. The company offers sport and horse racing betting, virtual sports, videolottery, both online and mobile (poker, skill games, casino games, bingo), esports and pari-mutuel. The SNAI retail betting network is comprised of over 1,600 points of sale located throughout Italy. The company also offers convenience payments services, satellite broadcasting and integrated stats and odds services, and real time updates on different sport events.

Playtech plans to fund the transaction through a combination of its own cash resources, and new debt financing totaling approximately €1.0 billion. It is expected that the transaction will leave the enlarged group with pro-forma net debt leverage of below 1.5 times 2017 EBITDA (excluding the Playtech convertible bond), with a strong cash flow profile to pay down debt over the medium term. Playtech expects to refinance the transaction financing by accessing the debt markets in due course, at which time Playtech may also seek a corresponding credit rating, in order to ensure a sustainable long-term capital structure for the enlarged group which utilises the combined strong free cash flow profile of both businesses.

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