888 completes sale of bingo business to Saphalata Holdings

| By Robert Fletcher
888 has completed the sale of its entire B2C and B2B bingo businesses to Saphalata Holdings, part of the Broadway Gaming group.

The sale was worth an initial $45.3m (£37.7m/€44.6m) in cash, which was payable upon completion, plus a further $2.0m unconditionally payable in one year – in line with the deal agreed in December last year.

888 said it had agreed to continue to provide Broadway with certain transitional services for a period of up to 12 months from completion.

Primarily based in the UK, the bingo business generated approximately $25m in gaming revenue in the first half of 2022, as well as $54m in the past 12 months.

888 said the sale of the business will enable it to improve focus on delivering against its wider strategy by building leading positions in regulated markets, “driven by proprietary technology, product leadership, leading brands, and marketing expertise”.

“I would like to express my immense gratitude for all of the hard work of the bingo team over the years, and in particular their unwavering commitment to the business since we announced the transaction,” 888 chief executive Itai Pazner said.

“As part of a dedicated bingo operator, I am very confident in the future prospects of the bingo business and wish the team well.

“The successful completion of this strategic transaction enables 888 to further increase its focus on integration with William Hill and delivering on our mission to be one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses.”

Broadway Gaming chief executive David Butler added: “We are delighted to complete the acquisition of 888’s high quality bingo business and platform. By combining these with our existing business and brands, which include ‘Butlers Bingo’, we will be able to achieve an even stronger global footprint in key regulated bingo markets.

“We see further expansion opportunities in both the B2C and B2B segments, and are very excited about working with the management team to deliver on our plans for the future, as we look to become the pre-eminent online bingo business globally.”

The sale comes after 888 last week completed its acquisition of William Hill’s non-US assets from Caesars for £1.95bn.

888 had initially agreed in September 2021 to acquire the non-US business of William Hill. This came soon after US operator Caesars acquired the entire William Hill business for approximately £2.90bn, with the intent to dispose of all but its US assets.

Originally, the purchase price for the deal was £2.2bn. However, 888 and Caesars agreed to reduce the purchase price to acquire the assets by £250m, with the cash portion of the deal now set at £584.9m instead of £834.9m.

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