French national lottery operator Française des Jeux Group (FDJ) is set to acquire Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) in a deal worth €350.0 million (£299.5 million/$383.8 million). The acquisition is expected to be completed this year and is subject to regulatory approvals.
The deal involves the purchase of PLI from its current owners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, An Post, and An Post Pension Fund. The acquisition talks progressed after a sales process initiated in March, according to an FDJ spokesperson.
FDJ's H1 figures were released alongside the announcement of the acquisition, showing a 6.3% year-on-year increase in half-yearly revenue, reaching €1.28 billion. The revenue growth was driven mainly by a 10.5% rise in sports betting and online gaming revenue, amounting to €257 million.
However, lottery revenue growth was more modest at 1%, reaching €958.0 million in H1, which was attributed to fewer significant jackpots in games like Loto and Euromillions.
Despite the challenges in the lottery sector, FDJ expressed confidence in the PLI acquisition's potential to enhance the vertical's future performance. In 2022, PLI reported gross gaming revenue of €399 million and revenue of €140 million, reflecting a comparable earnings margin to that of FDJ.
PLI is currently the exclusive operator of the Irish National Lottery under a 20-year deal that extends until 2034. This license agreement is expected to remain unaffected by the acquisition, ensuring continuity in the operation of the National Lottery.
FDJ chairwoman and CEO Stéphane Pallez expressed delight with the acquisition, stating that PLI is a long-standing partner in the Euromillions community. She also sees the acquisition as a significant step in FDJ Group's international development.
Regarding the H1 financial results, FDJ's gross gaming revenue increased by 2.4% to €3.295 billion, with additional revenue of €71 million from other activities. Financial income improved from a deficit of €22 million in H1 2022 to a positive result of €19 million in 2023, driven by rising interest rates and a favorable market environment.
FDJ's tax expense in H1 2023 was €65 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 26.8%. The company's consolidated net profit amounted to €181 million, marking a 13.5% year-on-year growth.
The successful completion of the PLI acquisition is expected to strengthen FDJ's presence in the international lottery market and support its international expansion strategy.
By fLEXI tEAM