CVC Capital is adding value and heft to Belgium’s Ardent Group, the Circus people

The entertainment arm of Belgium’s Ardent Group has struck a growth deal with CVC Capital Partners (Fund VIII) to position itself better in the global gaming industry. The Liège-based company’s active shareholders will take their position as the leader in the Belgian gaming market to the next step in regulated markets worldwide.

The company employs over 1,300 people – about 400 of them work at the firm’s digital hub in Liege. In addition to Belgium, the Gaming1 progress and expansion seem to be on target for their goal of doubling the volume of activity every five years.

One of the most recent developments was a joint venture with Delaware North which created the Gamewise company to serve US markets. The Ardent Group provides land-based and online games of chance including casino games, sports betting services, and poker.

An odd omission in the announcement was any mention of Gaming1’s most famous brand, Circus.

The historical shareholders of reference will remain in the lead under the new deal. These include Emmanuel Mewissen, Sylvain Boniver and Nicolas Léonard.

Capital Company with Expanding Influence

CVC manages over US$125 billion of assets and has extensive experience in partnering, mergers, and acquisitions in gaming. In England, residents will know the name Skybet, in Italy and Spain the brand Sisal comes to mind, and in Germany, the company is involved in Tipico. CVC’s digital prowess is augmented by investments in Aleph – a leader in digital advertising and ironSource, with that firm’s focus on mobile gaming and advertising.

The fact that CVC has a team established in Belgium will help Gaming1 stay close to its roots and source of inspiration while continuing to contribute to the fabric of the country’s economy.

Success by Adapting

CEO and Founder of Ardent Group, Emmanuel Mewissen, explained: “In a rapidly changing world, the key to success is adapting. By partnering with CVC, we will benefit from their global, sector and technology expertise, which will support our company to continue on our successful growth path and further build our digital capabilities. We will stay loyal to our values and Belgian roots, as shown by our recent move to our digital hub in the heart of Liège. This desire to anchor ourselves in and to contribute to our country’s growth is an integral part of our identity and will continue to guide us daily.”

By the numbers, Gaming1 has been in operation for 30 years, operates 11 casinos in Belgium and France along with 35 gaming halls at home, 5 sportsbetting sops, 82 POS terminals, 19 online websites, 150 proprietary online games, over and 200 slot machine cabinets in 3 countries.

Source: Gaming1 partners with CVC Fund VIII, CVC, December 28, 2021

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