Italian Sisal will be acquired by Flutter

Marta Dimitrov | Published 29 Dec 2021, 10 a.m.

After acquiring Tombola in a deal worth £402m, Flutter Entertainment will go on with another big deal.

The Italian operator Sisal will be acquired by the gaming giant for €1.91bn. The acquisition cost is actually Sisal’s debt and will be paid in cash, and the deal is expected to close in Q2 of 2022.

Sisal is the licensee for the Italian national lottery, as well as those of Morocco and Turkey. Sisal is currency owned by private equity group CVC Capital Partners. It is also one of the bidders for the UK’s national lottery.

Sisal is also Italian betting and gaming operator. However, it has been expanding in Spain with Sportnco, recently acquired by Gaming Innovation Group. For Flutter this deal is worth a “gold medal position” in Italy, as Sisal’s market share is usually more than 12% in sports betting and almost 10% in online casino.

Sisal may help Flutter increase market share

The chief executive Peter Jackson said he is delighted to add Sisal to the group as they are looking to attain a gold medal position in the Italian market. “For some time”, he continues, “we have wanted to pursue this market opportunity via an omni-channel strategy and this acquisition will ideally position us to do so.”

According to the operator, a combination of Sisal, Betfair and Sky Bet brands may lead to more than 20% market share. There will also be a  boost by Sisal’s retail offering, offering further diversification and protection against Italy’s ban on gambling advertisements.

There are other interesting circumstances for Flutter, as Italy’s online gaming market marks growth since, with Sisal’s revenue constantly from 2016. Peter Jackson about this says Sisal has grown its online presence significantly in recent years, aided by its proprietary platform and commitment to innovation”. He continues he is excited to see how Flutter can complement these capabilities through their scale, differentiated products and operational capabilities”.

Sisal expects earnings, tax, depreciation and amortisation

On the other hand, Sisal has certain expectations as well, that include earnings, tax, depreciation and amortisation to come to €248m.

For 2021, Sisal expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to come to €248m (£211m/$283m), from net gaming revenue of €694m.

Sisal chief executive Francesco Durante said that through their commitment to digital innovation, international expansion and safer gambling, they have achieved a leadership position in Italy’s online gaming market and developed their global footprint by winning lottery tenders in Morocco and Turkey.

Durante also said they are delighted to join Flutter and that they are looking forward to working with Peter and the team on the next chapter of Sisal history.

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