M&A hungry LeoVegas expands UK presence with €60m Royal Panda acquisition

Presenting its Q3 2017 trading update (period ending 30 September), Stockholm-listed LeoVegas Group AB has confirmed that it has entered a ‘definitive agreement’ to acquire Malta-based Web Investments limited the operating company of online casino Royal Panda (RoyalPanda.com).

Confirming the deal in its Q3 trading update, LeoVegas has agreed to acquire Royal Panda outright for a purchase price of €60 million, with the company adding a further €60 million in earn-out incentives.

Updating stakeholders, Gustaf Hagman Group CEO of LeoVegas AB detailed that Royal Panda would act as a further ‘multi-market brand’ for the company’s growing regulate market portfolio. Furthermore, the acquisition sees the online gambling group expand its presence within the saturated UK online gambling market gaining ‘the UK established Royal Panda casino’.

“Royal Panda has in a short time built up an efficient business with an exciting and strong brand. This is a major acquisition that we are carrying out following a carefully executed process. With the help of the strong symbolic value in the panda, the company has built a premium brand among gamers, and we will complement LeoVegas with Royal Panda. This gives us two great brands with global appeal, which makes the scalability in the continued growth strong while strengthening our position in the UK,” Hagman commented on the acquisition.

In order to facilitate its ongoing M&A strategy, LeoVegas governance has obtained a debt financing transaction of €100 million, in which €40 million will be made available through a revolving credit facility.

Moving forward, LeoVegas governance expects the Royal Panda transaction to be completed by December 2017.

Concluding a busy Q3 operating period, LeoVegas detailed a continued strong momentum in which group revenues hit the €55 million mark. The group detailed period KPI gains across its portfolio, despite recording a lower corporate EBITDA of €7.6 million (Q3 2016: €9.8 million) which had to adjust to period M&A and Nasdaq listing costs.

“During the fourth quarter, we expect marketing in relation to revenue to be higher than in the third quarter. We will most likely reach the highest level during the year as we plan to invest ahead of the Christmas holiday season. With a great acquisition, a good start to the fourth quarter and a continued strong cash position, we continue to have tremendous opportunities going forward, and we are all looking forward to an exciting fourth quarter.”

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