On Monday, April 4, Las Vegas-based online gaming supplier NYX Gaming Group Limited announced the acquisition of the London-based market leading business-to-business sportsbook and digital gaming supplier OpenBet for £270 million.
The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals, including regulatory and stock exchange approvals. The companies expect to receive all the necessary approvals in May this year and no more than three months after the agreement.
Launched back in 1996, OpenBet powers the largest share of the world's online bets, as in 2014 alone it took over one billion sports bets.
In a note sent to the media on Monday, the company announced that "NYX Gaming Group Limited and privately held OB Topco Limited ("OpenBet"), the #1 regulated digital gaming supplier globally, announced today they have entered into a binding share purchase agreement pursuant to which NYX will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of OpenBet from funds managed by Vitruvian Partners LLP, its co-investors and management."
The £270 million operation sees also the participation of William Hill PLC and Sky Betting and Gaming which will participate in the operation "through a preferred equity investment of £100 million in aggregate to partially fund the transaction."
According to NYX Gaming, "the transaction will join together two of the world’s most established and proven suppliers to create an organization that will deliver the leading end to end solution for regulated gaming markets. The combined strength of the two businesses will provide customers around the globe with premium betting and gaming solutions across all channels."
Besides participating in the £100 million equity investment, William Hill is said to have engaged NYX and OpenBet in a three-year development program "to further modernize OpenBet’s technology" that is estimated to generate £10.0 million in EBITDA to NYX over that three-year period.
Commenting on the operation, the CEO of NYX Matt Davey stated that the acquisition of OpenBet by NYX "completes the portfolio of industry-leading products and services we offer to our customers."
Davey believes that the two businesses are highly complementary with key strengths in regulated markets, technology services and gaming content. The deal "positions NYX as the leading provider of B2B betting and gaming solutions on a global scale. We are looking forward to working with OpenBet and their customers to help them to deliver world-class experiences to their players."
The CEO of OpenBet Jeremy Thompson-Hill said that the operation is a "natural union born out of synergies in product, the customer base and, importantly, culture. It will enable us to leverage our knowledge, strengths and resources to deliver our customers with best-in-class products and technologies across all verticals and channels."
Similarly, the Group Director of Strategy & Corporate Development at William Hill Robin Chhabra said he was delighted to see William Hill "supporting NYX’s vision for growth and expansion into sports betting alongside its strong gaming proposition. Our investment in NYX builds on our long-standing relationship with both NYX and OpenBet."
As part of the same operation, NYX announced also the sale of Ongame, the poker network it acquired from Amaya Inc. in 2014. Talking to PokerNews, NYX Chief Corporate Development and Marketing Officer Thomas Huw said that the details regarding this operation will be released in the nearest future, as the company is now focused on the acquisition of OpenBet.
Although he did not announce the name of Ongame's buyer nor any financial detail of the operation, Huw confirmed that "a partner with proven experience in the industry will take on all costs, customer contracts and development for the poker product. NYX will retain both a significant share of the new business and exclusive rights to use the poker product across North America."
At present, data from PokerScout show that the Ongame Network has been suffering a steady decline as the average number of real money ring game players moved from approximately 200 to 130 in the last six months. The network hosts eighteen poker sites, the most popular being Redbet, Betsafe, Betsson, and Redkings.