Copyright: kritchanut / 123RF Stock Photo

Gaming technology giant Playtech is to purchase Italian bookmaker Snaitech after agreeing a €846m deal.

The initial deal will see Playtech acquire 70.6 per cent of the operator after which it will be compelled to make a mandatory offer for all remaining shares.

Mor Weizer, chief executive officer of Playtech, said in a statement: “The acquisition of Snaitech represents the continuation of our strategy to invest in leading retail brands in fast growing, regulated markets.

“The acquisition delivers the board’s strategic objective to improve the quality and diversification of group revenue, whilst delivering exposure to high growth end markets, by utilising the strength of Playtech’s balance sheet.

“Playtech has always been at the forefront of its industry and the acquisition offers the opportunity to create a vertically integrated B2B2C operator in Europe’s largest gambling market, delivering significant value to shareholders.”

Snaitech CEO Fabio Schiavolin added: “This acquisition reflects Snaitech’s position as one of the leading and best-known brands in Italy and delivers meaningful value to our shareholders.

“The combination of Playtech’s technology and experience in Italy with Snaitech’s powerful brand mean we will be better able to capture the online opportunity in the fast growing and dynamic Italian market. We are pleased to be joining the Playtech team and look to the future with confidence and excitement.”

In 2017, Snaitech generated revenue and EBITDA of €890m and €136m respectively. The total purchase enterprise value is €846m with implied EV/EBITDA (pre-synergies) of 6.2 times.

Playtech claims the deal will create a vertically integrated retail and online Italian gaming business that will control its own technology across all products and verticals from land-based to online and is in line with Playtech’s strategy to invest in profitable, highly cash generative businesses with strong management, similar DNA and attractive financial returns.

It added that Snaitech significantly enhances Playtech’s revenue mix towards regulated markets, with 78 per cent of the enlarged group’s 2017 pro-forma revenues from regulated markets. and comes with an experienced management team with a successful operational and financial track record who will remain with Playtech post acquisition.