GVC to purchase majority stake in Crystalbet

5 March 2018

GVC Holdings has agreed a deal to acquire a 51% stake in Mars LLC (Crystalbet) for a consideration of €41.3m ($50.8m).

Launched in 2011, Crystalbet holds licences to offer online gaming products such as sports betting, casino games, poker and peer-to-peer games in the regulated market of Georgia.

GVC said it recognises Crystalbet as the largest online sportsbook, and second largest online gaming brand overall, in Georgia and believes it can leverage its own resources enhance the firm’s position.

The operational management team at Crystalbet will remain in place and retain their full equity shareholdings in the firm following the initial acquisition.

Completion is not subject to regulatory approval and is expected to go through by the end of the month.

GVC plans to purchase the remaining 49% share of the company in 2021, subject to certain buyer protections, at a valuation at the lower of seven times the 2020 clean earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, or €150m.

“Through access to GVC’s content, technology and digital marketing skills, we believe Crystalbet can become a clear leader in the regulated Georgian market,” GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander said.

“This acquisition is in line with our stated strategy of being a truly global player, with a focus on regulated/regulating markets.”

Koba Giglemiani, chief executive Crystalbet, added: “When we were looking for a strategic acquirer to take Crystalbet to the next level, GVC was very much our first choice.

“GVC’s experience and track record in many different geographic markets, together with its technology and marketing skills are key attractions for Crystalbet.”

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