NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Sportech PLC (LSE: SPO) ("Sportech") is pleased to announce the acquisition of eBet Online Inc ("eBet"), a leading US business-to-business ("B2B") online betting operator and technology and services provider focused on the North American horse racing betting market. Total consideration, dependent upon future performance, is to be up to $12.6 million.
The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership.
eBet is one of the largest online horse race wagering operators in the US, processing $106 million in bets through its account wagering systems in the year ended 30 June 2012.
The acquisition of eBet reinforces Sportech's position as one of the largest operators and providers of online and mobile betting technologies and services across North America. The combination of eBet with Sportech's US interactive business is expected to create significant strategic and operational synergies. eBet brings an incremental customer base with strong year-on-year revenue growth that will broaden Sportech's share of the account betting market in North America.
Following the acquisition, Sportech's enlarged US interactive operation will provide customized websites, mobile applications, interactive voice response (IVR) systems and telephone betting services to 29 licensed gaming and racing customers across the US.
In addition to its betting technologies, Sportech will continue to provide its customers with a comprehensive package of services designed to maximize wagering revenue, including full-service marketing, content management and end-user customer service and technical support.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Mark Gregory, a principal and the current CEO of eBet, will assume the role of Managing Director of Sportech's Interactive Products & Services division. Andrew Gaughan, the current Managing Director of the division, will become Managing Director, Business Development – The Americas. Both Mark and Andrew will report to David Schreff.
For the year ended 30 June 2012, eBet reported turnover of $4.3 million producing an EBITDA before exceptional items of $1.6 million and a profit before tax and exceptional items of $1.4 million. Gross assets at 30 June 2012 were $2.3 million. Sportech has identified a total of $250,000 of synergies it would expect to achieve in 2013 increasing to annualized synergies of $500,000 from 2014 onwards.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ian Penrose, Chief Executive of Sportech, said, "The acquisition of eBet is an important further development in our North American business, following approval last week to provide exclusive online betting on horse racing in the State of Connecticut and the recent appointment of David Schreff as Chief Operating Officer – The Americas. eBet brings Sportech a significantly enlarged online customer base, a license in Oregon and an experienced new Managing Director for our interactive division. The addition of eBet significantly enhances our reach across horse racing in the United States."
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SOURCE: Sportech PLC
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