Flutter Entertainment to acquire Tombola for £402m

| By Robert Fletcher
Flutter Entertainment will acquire acquire UK-facing online bingo operator Tombola for an enterprise value of £402m (€479m/$543m).

The deal will see Flutter pay the full consideration in cash upon completion, taking charge of Tombola outright.

Flutter explained the addition of Tombola to its portfolio would deliver a number of key strategic advantages, including expanding its position in a product vertical in which it had historically been weaker.

It also talked up Tombola’s engaged and sustainable player base, noting that many customers remained active with the brand for multiple years, and that the business was the first to roll out mandatory staking and deposit limits.

Tombola has been active in the UK for 16 years, with more than 80% of its revenue generated in the UK and 16% coming from operations in Italy and Spain. It has approximately 400,000 monthly players on average and employs over 700 staff.

In its 2019-20 financial year ended 30 April 2020, Tombola generated £120m in revenue, and £9.4m in net profit.

“Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play,” Flutter’s chief executive Peter Jackson said. “The brand aligns closely with Flutter’s safer gambling strategy, a key area of focus for us. 

“I am excited to combine Flutter’s digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK and Ireland division.”

Jackson also paid Tribute to Tombola’s founder and chief executive Phil Cronin: “As the time comes for Phil to hand over the reins, I would like to thank him for building the success story that the business is today, and I look forward to welcoming the Tombola team to Flutter and growing a sustainable business for the future together.”

Flutter expects to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2022, subject to merger control clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

In September, Tombola was named as one of only a handful of operators to secure a licence for the newly regulated Dutch market. The brand launched in the Netherlands last month, when the country opened its market on 1 October.

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