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GVC Holdings ends Turkish operations with sale - readying for acquisition?

Inte

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rnational online gaming operator GVC Holdings plc has announced the sale of its Turkey-based subsidiary Headlong Limited to Ropso Malta Limited, bringing to an end its Turkish operations.

No upfront fee has been disclosed, with the acquisition cost being made up of a performance related earn-out with a maximum agreed threshold of €150m. This acquisition cost is payable on a monthly basis over a five year period. Ropso Malta Limited is an investment company which is currently running the company's IT operations.

The completion of this deal is contingent on the business receiving gaming regulatory approval from Maltese regulators and approval from Ropso’s investors. In the last financial year, Headlong generated over €35m of clean earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortisation.

In a statement, GVC confirmed that the decision “has been taken against a backdrop where, in an increasingly maturing and regulating online gaming world, the Board has concluded it is now appropriate for GVC to further increase its focus on regulated markets.”

However speculation is rife that GVC has sold the business to aid in takeover negotiations with other firms within the gaming industry. Such negotiations between GVC and both William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral have stalled in the past year over concerns about GVC’s involvement in so called ‘grey’ and unregulated markets.

GVC Holdings CEO Kenneth Alexander added: “As the Group evolves, our focus is increasingly on regulated markets and markets where we believe there is a realistic path to regulation. Today’s disposal is consistent with this strategy and enhances GVC’s position as a leading operator in a rapidly developing industry.”


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