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GVC Holdings gains Georgian vision with €41m investment in Crystalbet

GVC Holdings has announced the procurement of a 51% stake in Georgian operator Crystalbet for a €41.3m consideration, with a commitment to obtaining the remaining 49% in 2021.

Coming to the agreement with the firms owner Mars LLC, the FTSE listed sports betting and gaming group stated “Crystalbet is the largest online sportsbook, and the second largest online gaming brand overall, in the Republic of Georgia.”

Kenneth Alexander, CEO of GVC, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Crystalbet to the GVC Group, having been impressed with what the management team has achieved thus far.

“Through access to GVC’s content, technology and digital marketing skills, we believe Crystalbet can become a clear leader in the regulated Georgian market. This acquisition is in line with our stated strategy of being a truly global player, with a focus on regulated/regulating markets.”

Announcing its figures for FY2017, Crystalbet details revenues of €34m, EBITDA of €12m and a profit after tax amounting to €10.2m, with GVC aiming to further enhance its profitability and position in its home market by leveraging the wider Group’s extensive portfolio of games content, CRM, digital marketing capabilities and purchasing power.

Crystalbet’s operational management team, led by CEO Koba Giglemiani, will all remain and retain their full equity shareholdings in Crystalbet following the initial acquisition

Completion is not subject to regulatory approval and is expected to occur by the end of this month, further acquisition of the remaining shares is to commence in three years, subject to certain buyer protections.

Levan Akhvlediani, Chairman of Crystalbet, said: “I’m proud of all that has been achieved at Crystalbet and believe that in GVC we have found an owner that will both respect the key elements that have made the business so successful and at the same time has the skills and knowledge to take the company to the next level.”

Giglemiani added: “When we were looking for a strategic acquirer to take Crystalbet to the next level, GVC  was very much our first choice. GVC’s experience and track record in many different geographic markets, together with its technology and marketing skills are key attractions for Crystalbet. We very much look forward to being part of GVC Holdings.”

Crystalbet, launched in 2011, holds licences to offer online gaming products, including sports betting, casino games, poker and peer-to-peer games throughout the fully regulated market of the Republic of Georgia.

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