CVC continues gambling spree with Sisal purchase

CVC continues gambling spree with Sisal purchase

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 Totally Gaming
Emilio Petrone said the CVC deal will help Sisal become "even stronger"

CVC Capital Partners has continued its spending spree in the European gambling industry by agreeing to purchase Sisal Group in a deal worth €1bn ($1.1bn).

The private equity group has acquired a 100 per cent stake in the Italian gaming and payments operator from owners Apax Partners, Permira and Clessidra. Sisal owns brands such as SuperEnaLotto, online casino site Sisal.it and retail and online sportsbook Sisal Matchpoint.

The deal comes just a month after CVC agreed to buy 60 per cent of Tipico in a deal that reportedly valued the German sports betting operator at around €1.5bn. CVC, once the owner of William Hill, bought 80 per cent of Sky Betting & Gaming in a deal worth £800m in late 2014.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Sisal; the company is a well diversified entertainment business with a historical brand in Italy and strong market positions across gaming, lotteries, betting and convenience payments,” said Giampiero Mazza, CVC partner and head of the firm’s Italian team.

“Under its previous shareholders and the management team led by Emilio Petrone, Sisal was able to grow and reshape its business perimeter thorough a period of difficult macro conditions and regulatory uncertainty.

“Sisal today is ideally positioned to capture growth in a number of areas. We look forward to supporting Emilio and his team to consolidate Sisal’s leadership in the payments space, continue to develop its online gaming and betting platform and further innovate its proposition in proximity retail.”

CVC’s purchase of Sisal comes after a period of exceptional growth in the Italian gaming market. Sports betting grew by 42 per cent to €96m during the first three months of 2016, with total online gambling revenue up 21 per cent to €267m and casino takings up 38 per cent to €106m.

Figures from national regulator  AAMS showed the Italian online casino market brought in revenues of €9.4bn and profits of €327.5m, up 31 per cent, in 2015. Sisal had a 10 per cent share of the Italian online casino market, which meant the company was second only to Lottomatica’s 15 per cent.

Emilio Petrone, chief executive of Sisal, added: “I would like to congratulate the entire CVC Milan team for finalising a great acquisition. Sisal, celebrating its 70th anniversary, is a very important Italian company that is enjoying a period of fantastic growth and overall results. 

“I am confident that with CVC, we will make a formidable team enabling Sisal to fully exploit its potential, becoming even stronger and more competitive. Personally, I am thrilled to lead this new, exciting phase in the company’s history.” 

TotallyGaming.com says: “CVC’s big money purchase again shows its belief in the gaming market, with this deal highlighting the potential of Italy.”

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