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Entain CEE's Vision for Dominance in Central and Eastern Europe: A Strategic Path to Expansion

Entain CEE, a joint venture between Entain and investment management company Emma Capital, is making waves in the gaming industry with its ambitious expansion plans in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Entain CEE's Vision for Dominance in Central and Eastern Europe: A Strategic Path to Expansion

The recent acquisition of STS Holdings for £750 million not only provides access to Poland's thriving market but also showcases the company's determination to establish a dominant presence in the region. This move, the second acquisition by Entain CEE, signifies a strategic approach that goes beyond individual acquisitions.

Mikolaj Cymerman, the Head of Corporate Development at Entain CEE, emphasizes that the acquisition of STS demonstrates the company's multi-faceted strategy. He explains, "Once SuperSport happened, people were thinking 'OK, so they've bought SuperSport and that's it.' But now with STS, this kind of structure starts to unravel and people are seeing that this wasn't a one-trick pony." Cymerman's statement underscores that Entain CEE's strategy is designed for long-term growth, positioning the company as a major player in the CEE gaming landscape.

The acquisition of SuperSport in Croatia last year was a pivotal move that laid the groundwork for the STS deal. Entain CEE's approach revolves around identifying local gaming leaders that have successfully transitioned into the online space after market regulations. This recognition of evolving dynamics within local markets is central to the company's vision for expansion.

The establishment of Entain CEE as a platform for collaboration with local leaders sets it apart. The company seeks to strike a balance between leveraging its majority economic rights and allowing acquired companies to retain their local expertise. This approach resonated with shareholders, leading to the successful acquisition of STS. With this acquisition, Entain CEE gains a substantial foothold in Poland's gaming market, setting the stage for further growth.

While the STS acquisition is undoubtedly a significant milestone, Entain CEE has a broader vision. Presently operating in two out of the 12 CEE markets, the company has a long-term strategy to expand its presence across the region. Cymerman elaborates, "There are 12 markets, we are already in two of them. The long-term vision is to be in every single one of those markets." This approach highlights Entain CEE's commitment to a gradual, strategic expansion, assessing each market individually before making strategic moves.

The company's expansion strategy is characterized by a thoughtful, step-by-step approach that aims to solidify its position as a dominant player in the CEE gaming industry. Cymerman's assertion that "The long-term vision is to be in every single one of those markets" underlines the company's intention to strategically extend its reach, rather than seeking immediate dominance.

The emphasis on attracting the best talent in the CEE region is a critical aspect of Entain CEE's growth strategy. Cymerman underscores this commitment, stating, "It's a long-term thing that we're very serious about. We're trying to bring all the best talent in the CEE region under the Entain CEE umbrella." This strategy aligns with the company's goal of creating a collaborative environment that harnesses both local expertise and global reach.

As Entain CEE continues to execute its expansion strategy, the acquisitions of SuperSport and STS stand as pivotal achievements. These acquisitions exemplify Entain CEE's vision for sustainable growth, rooted in local partnerships and a commitment to building a formidable presence in the CEE gaming landscape.

In an industry where rapid expansion can sometimes overshadow long-term viability, Entain CEE's approach stands out. The company's case-by-case evaluation of markets and focus on collaboration with local leaders set it on a path toward becoming a powerhouse in the CEE gaming sector. With a commitment to attracting top talent and a well-defined strategy, Entain CEE's journey to dominance unfolds as a measured and calculated ascent. As the company navigates the dynamic CEE gaming landscape, its patient and strategic approach is poised to pay dividends in the long run.


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