Flutter Entertainment has completed its acquisition of major Italian gambling operator Sisal in a deal worth €1.91bn. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Getting the deal over the line
Flutter Entertainment has fully completed its acquisition of Italian iGaming giant Sisal in a deal worth €1.91bn ($1.94bn). The major gambling group announced that the deal officially closed on Thursday after getting all of the relevant regulatory approvals for the transaction.
building significant positions in regulated markets
News of Flutter’s plans to take over Sisal first emerged in December. Flutter outlined at the time how the acquisition of the online gaming and lottery giant would be a boost to the company’s approach of building significant positions in regulated markets across the globe. To finance the acquisition, Flutter utilized debt facilities.
A major gambling operator
Sisal is the license holder for the national lotteries in Italy, Turkey, and Morocco. The Turkey operation is in collaboration with a local business called Demirören Holding. Recently, Sisal was one of a handful of operators in the mix to get the fourth-ever UK National Lottery license, but it ultimately lost out to Allwyn following the application process.
Italy is Europe’s second biggest regulated gambling market, after the UK. Its total estimated gross gaming revenue in 2019 was €19bn ($19.3m).
In addition to being a lottery operator, Sisal has significant iGaming and betting operations in Italy. It also recently expanded into the Spanish market in collaboration with Sportnco. Sisal has posted some healthy financial figures since the original announcement of the merger: in the first six months of 2022, it had a 58% year-on-year increase in revenue, reaching £402m ($484m). The operator’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 51% to £120m ($144.5m).
A win for Flutter
Sisal currently employs about 2,500 individuals and has its headquarters in Milan. It has already projected its 2022 EBITDA to reach €248m ($252m), with a forecasted 59% of the total coming from online operations and the rest from both lottery and retail operations. About 90% of Sisal’s 2021 EBITDA came from the Italian market.
Italy’s leading online gambling brand
As a result of the acquisition, Flutter will now have Italy’s leading online gambling brand as part of its portfolio. It already has its Betfair and PokerStars brands operating in the market. In total, an additional 300,000 or so engaged online average monthly players will be joining Flutter’s customer base, as well as more than 9.5 million retail customers.