Playtech pays £16 million for bingo software and hardware solutions provider ECM

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Continuing its acquisition spree outside of the Forex sector after having failed to acquire Plus500 and AvaTrade, gaming technology provider Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) has announced that it has acquired bingo software and hardware solutions provider ECM Systems. ECM supplies software and support services to the UK retail bingo market, including major operators Gala Leisure, Mecca Bingo and the leading independent bingo operators.

ECM is highly regarded within the bingo industry and its extensive range of products is instrumental to the daily operation of retail bingo in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Its systems provide key facilities for Main Stage Bingo, Cash Bingo, wide area linked gaming operations and front-of-house reporting. A complete customer support facility provides technical and repair services for all current and legacy products.

The last few years have seen ECM invest in expanding its digital strategy. As a result, ECM is the provider and licensor of digital bingo software for a wide range of handheld tablets known as Electronic Bingo Terminals (EBT), and this generates a significant proportion of its revenues.

The acquisition of ECM positions Playtech at the forefront of the retail bingo market in the UK. It also empowers Playtech to provide omni-channel solutions to the bingo operators by connecting their retail and online operations as well as providing a platform to supply Playtech content.

For FY 2016, ECM reported revenues of £9.1 million and adjusted EBITDA of £4.5 million. Playtech has paid approximately £14.9 million for 90% of the issued share capital of ECM. The remaining 10%, which is subject to put and call options capped at £1.1 million, is held by Allen Richardson who will remain as CEO of the business for the next 3 years.

Mor Weizer, PlayTech

Mor Weizer, PlayTech

Mor Weizer, Chief Executive of Playtech, commented:

ECM has a leading position within the bingo hall sector, including its extensive range of handheld devices that enable players to enjoy a digital experience within a familiar retail environment.

This is a significant step in strengthening and expanding our Playtech ONE offering within the bingo sector and we look forward to working with Allen and the whole ECM team.”

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