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UK-based betting and gaming group, GVC Holdings has acquired Australian sports betting operator Neds International for an initial AUS$68m (c£38m), rising to as much as AUS$95m (c£54m).

Launched in 2017, Neds International is a recent entrant into the Australian online sports betting market. The business since has grown quickly and is expected to deliver around AUS$1bn of wagers and a gross gaming revenue of approximately AUS$100m in the year to December 31, 2018.

In a statement, GVC reiterated that Australia is a core market for the group. “Scale is increasingly important and the combined businesses will become a top-three player and the deal represents a key development in our ambition to be a market leader in Australia,” the company said in a statement.

Neds’ technology also complements and boosts GVC’s existing operations in Australia. Synergies from combining the respective operations are forecast to be AUS$16m a year, fully realised in 2021. The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive from 2020.

Kenneth Alexander, chief executive of GVC, said: “Australia is a core market for the group and today’s acquisition further strengthens our position.

“Neds is an exciting business, with talented people and enables us to further grow market share through two differentiated brands.”

Dean Shannon, executive chair of Neds, added: “GVC is a natural fit for the Neds business, we share the same entrepreneurial ideals, whilst delivering market leading products and service to our customers.”

Jason Scott, Australian CEO of Ladbrokes, said: “I am thrilled to lead the Ladbrokes and Neds businesses. The transaction proves beyond all doubt that GVC is here to stay in the Australian market.”