Playtech closes on 80% of Snaitech, begins offer for remainder

Online gaming and financial trading company Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of 70.6% Italian gaming company Snaitech.

Playtech said that it has also separately acquired 9% of Snaitech’s issued share capital through market purchases, since the original announcement of the €846 million acquisition was made on April 12, 2018. Therefore, Playtech’s holding in Snaitech is now at about 80%.

Playtech further stated that will within the next few weeks it will launch a mandatory takeover offer for the remaining shares in Snaitech. Accordingly, Playtech expects to complete the overall transaction later this year.

Playtech closed the acquisition’s first stage after receiving formal consent for the transaction from Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli, the Italian gaming regulatory authority, and Playtech shareholder approval (not a given nowadays after a recent shareholder revolt against management compensation) in late May.

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 is funding 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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