Playtech has officially confirmed that it is engaged in discussions regarding the potential acquisition of SKS365 Malta Holdings, an operator that caters to the Italian market and is known for its PlanetWin brand. Alongside Playtech, Flutter, a prominent player in the gambling industry, has also reportedly submitted bids for SKS365. This operator has a significant presence both online and in the land-based gambling sector in Italy. The estimated value of the acquisition is believed to fall within the range of £500.0 million (€578.2 million/$613.5 million) to £600.0 million. Another interested party in this potential acquisition is Italy's Lottomatica.
In response to the reports, Playtech issued a statement acknowledging the ongoing discussions. The statement reads, "Following the recent media speculation, Playtech confirms that the group is currently participating in a process regarding the potential acquisition of SKS365 Malta Holdings. Playtech is aware that there are other parties who are also participating in the process and who have expressed an interest in acquiring SKS. There can be no certainty that Playtech will be successful in the process nor that any transaction regarding the potential acquisition of SKS will be agreed. Further announcements will be made as and when appropriate."
Playtech has been actively involved in the Italian gambling market for several years, with one of its Italian-focused operations being Snaitech. The company noted Snaitech's strong performance in its Q2 results announcement, attributing its success to the synergy between its retail presence and the online segment.
On the other hand, Flutter, while not officially confirming its interest in the SKS365 acquisition, recently acquired a controlling 51% stake in MaxBet, a Serbian omnichannel sports betting and gaming operator, for €141.0 million. MaxBet is a significant player in the Serbian market with approximately 20% of the online market share and a workforce of over 2,400 employees. The agreement also includes an option for Flutter to acquire the remaining 49% of MaxBet in 2029. Flutter has been expanding its presence in Italy, notably through the acquisition of Sisal for €1.90 billion in August 2022 and the purchase of bingo operator Tombola for £402.0 million.
Lottomatica, another player in the potential acquisition, has not yet responded to the reports. However, the company expanded its presence in the Italian market last year by acquiring Betflag, an Italian online sports betting and casino operator, for €310.0 million. Additionally, Lottomatica announced plans for an initial public offering with a market capitalization of €2.67 billion.
The prospective acquisition of SKS365 by Playtech represents another significant move in the ongoing wave of mergers and acquisitions within the gambling industry. Companies like LeoVegas, Entain, and Playtika have been actively involved in recent M&A deals. In the United States, Fanatics Betting and Gaming (FBG) finalized its acquisition of PointsBet's US business, while Glitnor Group secured a 37.5% stake in New Jersey igaming operator PlayStar through a deal. This indicates that the gambling industry continues to be a dynamic and evolving sector with companies actively seeking opportunities for growth and expansion.
By fLEXI tEAM