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Allwyn and Cohn Robbins merger off

A proposed merger between lottery operator Allwyn and special purpose acquisition company Cohn Robbins is now off.  

allwyn cohn robbins business proposal gambling insider web image

As a result, Allwyn will stay a private company; it remains, however, “committed” to joining the public market in due course.  

The lottery operator says that despite strong indications of support from investors regarding the potential merger, the proposal comes at a time of “significant” market volatility, with concerns about inflation, interest rates and a potential recession.

This U-turn decision comes after investors offered commitments of almost $700m to support Allwyn’s combination with Cohn Robbins.  

The operator also intends to hold off its plans for expansion in the US, until its plans to be publicly listed are achieved.  

Allwyn CEO Robert Chvátal said: “Allwyn was encouraged by the feedback from many leading investors, demonstrating the attractiveness of our business to the investment community. 

“However, due to the prolonged and increasing market volatility, we and Cohn Robbins have decided not to proceed with the proposed business combination. We are grateful to the firm’s founders, Gary Cohn and Cliff Robbins, for their support over the past year and hope to work with them again in the future. 

“As demonstrated by our recent results, Allwyn is a high cash generative business with a strong financial and operational platform to pursue its organic and inorganic growth strategy and to invest in new opportunities.  

“These include the National Lottery in the UK, where we are set to become the operator in 2024. We continue to pursue sustainable and profitable growth and remain excited about the many opportunities we see in the lottery business in Continental Europe, the UK, the United States and elsewhere.” 

Allwyn has recently been formally awarded the aforementioned UK lottery licence, after existing licence holder Camelot and its supplier IGT retracted their legal challenges to retain the licence. 

Cohn Robbins’ Co-Founders, Gary D Cohn and Clifton S. Robbins added: "Our partnership with Allwyn was announced in January and since then we have witnessed a pronounced negative turn in market psychology, and just last week the market suffered its worst day since June 2020, with the sharply negative trend continuing this week.

“Karel Komárek and his teams at KKCG and Allwyn have much to be proud of in the lottery-led entertainment company they are building. Nevertheless, the persistently volatile and negative market conditions have led to our mutual decision with Allwyn not to proceed in completing the transaction. We wish them every success going forward.” 

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