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SBM sells Betclic stake to FL Entertainment ahead of SPAC deal

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Monte-Carlo SBM International Sàrl (SBM) has transferred its entire 47.3% stake in French online gambling business Betclic Everest to newly created media and betting business FL Entertainment, as FL prepares to go public.
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The news follows a press release on 11 May announcing the creation of the new entity, FL Entertainment, as part of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger.

FL Entertainment will itself soon combine with Pegasus Entrepreneurial Acquisition Company Europe, which is already listed on Euronext Amsterdam.

FL will be made up of Betclic Everest and television production company Banijay, which will make up the majority of the business by revenue.

The new company is predicted to have an enterprise value of €7.2bn (£6.2bn/$7.5bn), as well as generate revenue of €3.5bn and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €609m.

SBM will have an interest in the new company, holding 4.95% of the voting rights and 10.39% of the effective economic rights of the business. It is publicly listed on the regulated market of Euronext Amsterdam.

Pegasus has raised €100m via non-redemption commitments, €50m from Financière Agache and Tikehau Capital, plus €250m in additional funding from controlling shareholder Financière Lov, as well as €220m in private investment in public equity (PIPE) funding.

The SPAC intends to raise another €250m in PIPE funding.

Pegasus said it intends to use this funding to “attract new players by innovation in the offers made to players and improvement of its user experience, as well as to invest in customer relation management to retain players and improve their loyalty”.

Overall, the business hopes that Betclic’s player base will increase by 18% in 2022, from 893,000 monthly average players to more than 1 million.

Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit is the chairman of the new business, while former Financière Lov chief executive François Riahi has become its CEO.

Speaking in May Courbit said: “Achieving a public listing of FL Entertainment through this partnership with Pegasus Entrepreneurs is a milestone in the history of our group. As a result of the transaction, the group will benefit from a robust balance sheet and will be very well positioned to capture growth in the entertainment industry.

“One of the key strengths of FL Entertainment is its management team: François Riahi as CEO of FL Entertainment, Marco Bassetti as CEO of the Banijay Group and Nicolas Béraud as CEO of the Betclic Everest Group.”

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