Clarion to buy 75% stake in £19.7m iGaming Business

Consolidation in the gaming industry has spread into the events and media arena with Clarion Events in advanced talks to acquire iGaming Business from Electric Word Plc.

Clarion has agreed to purchase Electric Word’s 70% share of the business and will also buy a further 5.1% from founder Michael Caselli, who will retain the remainder of the shares, in a deal that values the company at £19.7m. The Gaming Interests of Electric Word generated 2014 revenues of £5.4 million and 2014 EBITDA of £2.0 million after allocation of central costs.

iGaming Business specialises in providing high level information to the online gaming and affiliate marketing sectors through its respected magazines, events, websites and reports. Its Affiliate Conferences take place annually in London, Berlin and Amsterdam.

Combining iGaming Business with Clarion’s gaming portfolio will further the vision of both companies to provide a comprehensive events and information platform for the sector. Explaining the acquisition, Clarion’s Gaming MD, Kate Chambers, who has overseen the development of leading brands, notably ICE Totally Gaming, EiG and GiGse, said: “We are really excited about cementing our relationship with iGaming Business. Alex Pratt, Michael Caselli and the team have established an important niche within the online gaming space and are regarded as providers of high quality industry analysis and focussed events.  Clarion already works closely with iGaming Business and this acquisition will enable us to combine the strengths within the two groups.

Caselli commented: “Both companies aim to facilitate business through information and interaction in the gaming industry.  Clarion’s portfolio complements iGaming Business’ and this acquisition benefits our combined clientele. This deal contributes toward the continued development of the industry.”

Pratt added: “Clarion is widely regarded as the leading event organiser in gaming and we will be harnessing its expertise in order to improve customer engagement across our events. Becoming part of Clarion will add value to our current brands and provide an opportunity to take new products to emerging markets.  Bringing the biggest business-to-business and affiliate events closer will, I am certain, deliver enhanced benefits to delegates and exhibitors alike.”

Pratt, Caselli and the existing iGaming Business team will continue to drive iGaming Business’s products forward.

Julian Turner, Chief Executive of Electric Word, said: “I am delighted that we have reached agreement to sell iGB to Clarion at an attractive valuation. iGB has performed exceptionally well in recent years, led by a talented management team and exceptional staff. I would like to thank them for their excellent work over ten years as part of Electric Word and I strongly believe that both they and the business will continue to thrive under Clarion’s ownership.”

It is the second time that Clarion’s gaming division has been involved in trade magazine publishing as it has previously owned Coinslot Interntional, International Casino Review and Betting Business interactive.

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