Unibet acquires Stan James Online

By Tom Lewis
Unibet Group has agreed to acquire the online gambling arm of British bookmaker Stan James.

Headquartered in Malta, Unibet have agreed an acquisition price of £19m, subject to regulatory approval, with completion of the deal expected in the third quarter of 2015.

Stan James will retain control of the UK shops operated under its brand, of which there are over 80.

Under EU rules on business acquisition, Stan James’ 150 Gibraltar-based employees will transfer their employment to Unibet upon completion of the takeover.

Unibet CEO Henrik Tjärnström said: “We have been looking at strengthening our position in the UK online market.

“Stan James as an operator is one of the most well respected in the UK market with particular strengths in horse racing and other sports.

“Over time we see a significant potential to increase the breadth of the Stan James product range, such as like streaming, casino and improving the mobile offering.”

Denis Kelly, CEO of Stan James Online, said: “We are delighted to join the wider Unibet group.

"There is substantial market opportunity in the UK following re-regulation.”

In the first five months of 2015, Kelly oversaw Stan James Online’s generation of £10.5m in gross wagering revenue, with EBITDA of £1.4m after deduction of UK point-of-consumption tax.

Kelly added: “Through the combination of Unibet’s expertise in marketing and financial strength, together with Stan James’ high quality sports and racing betting offering aimed at the UK market, I am confident that we can increase substantially the combined group’s market share in the UK.”

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