888 pens £18m deal to buy JPJ’s Mandalay

London-listed online gambling group 888 Holdings has agreed upon an £18m deal to acquire a number of JPJ Group brands, which include Costa Bingo, City Bingo and Sing Bingo.

888 has purchased a number of digital bingo brands from the Jet Management Group and Jet Media, who form the basis of the Mandalay operating unit.

The online gambling group has collaborated with the Mandalay brands since 2009, supplying its Dragonfish bingo platform to Mandalay media.

Itai Pazner, 888 Holding’s new Chief Executive, said that the new deal will further strengthen the group’s position in the UK online bingo market. The group will initially front £12m in cash following the closing of the acquisition, with the final £6m being paid in cash in September.

“The group continues to deliver its stated strategy of expanding across global regulated markets,” commented Pazner. “This expansion is underpinned by organic growth initiatives supported by exploring value-enhancing M&A.

“Having been developed on Dragonfish, the Group’s first-class B2B platform, we are confident that consolidating these brands into our existing B2C portfolio will deliver synergies and growth opportunities by applying the full extent of 888’s core capabilities in product, marketing and customer relationship management to their operations.”

JPJ Group added that sale would allow them to optimise returns on its market investment through the development of its Jackpotjoy-focused single brand strategy in the UK. Mandalay has generated approximately £11m of revenue and approximately £3.7m of profit before tax attributable to the assets, in the twelve months to December 31, 2018.

The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of March, following an employee consultation.

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