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GVC has Georgia on its mind as it acquires controlling stake in Crystalbet

"When we were looking for a strategic acquirer to take Crystalbet to the next level, GVC was very much our first choice," said Koba Giglemiani, the CEO of Crystalbet

Online gaming
GVC believes that it can further enhance Crystalbet's profitability and position in the Georgian online gaming market

GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) has snapped up 51% of the company behind Crystalbet, one of the leading online gaming operators in the Republic of Georgia.

The consideration for the 51% stake is €41.3mln; the London-listed sports betting and gaming group has made a commitment to buy the rest of Crystalbet in 2021, either for €150mln or seven times Crystalbet’s adjusted underlying earnings in 2020, whichever is the lower.

READ: GVC Holdings to make about €200mln provision after Greek unit slapped with big tax bill

GVC's management believes that Crystalbet operates the largest online sportsbook, and is the second largest online gaming brand overall, in the Republic of Georgia.

In 2017, Crystalbet’s revenues were 102.9mln Georgian lari (GEL), roughly equivalent to €34m1n; underlying earnings (Ebitda) were GEL36.5mln (€12.0mln) and profit after tax clocked in at GEL30.8mln (€10.2mln).

At the end of 2017, Crystalbet had gross assets of GEL24.9mln (€8.2mln).

"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," said Kenneth Alexander, the chief executive officer of GVC.

Shares in GVC were down 1.3% at 861.5p in a rising market in the first hour of trading.

Quick facts: GVC Holdings

Price: 867.2 GBX

AIM:GVC
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £5.05 billion
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