GiG to acquire AskGamblers from Catena for €45m

| By Dan Kleiner
Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has agreed to acquire AskGamblers from Catena for €45m (£38.8m/$47.7m), in a move GiG said will help create sustainable long-term growth.
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GiG will pay an initial €20m upon the closing of the deal, which will be followed by a €10m payment a year after closing. The remaining balance of €15m will be paid 24 months after closing.

The transaction is expected to be completed in Q1 2023.

Catena poised to close AskGamblers sale

The deal has been structured through a share purchase agreement (SPA) and will include the acquisition of Catena Publishing Ltd (Malta) and Catena Media DOO Beograd (Serbia).

Alongside AskGamblers.com, GiG will acquire JohnSlots.com and NewCasinos.com.

GiG will finance the initial consideration with a combination of cash, a revolving credit facility (RCF) and a share issue. Existing shareholders have already agreed to the share issue, which secures funding for the transaction. 

Right timing for GiG

Morten Hillestad, director of business development at GiG Media, believes that after three years of consolidation and organic growth the time was right to act on this acquisition opportunity.

“GiG Media has developed world class marketing technology and operational capabilities over the preceding years, and we feel that bringing the AskGamblers brand into the company structure will provide multiple opportunities for it to flourish.”

Jonas Warrer, managing director of GiG Media, added: “We are very pleased to welcome quality websites such as AskGamblers.com into the business and look forward to integrating with the skilled teams that have built up the websites acquired.

“We want to be the leading casino affiliate in the industry, and this acquisition cements our position.”

The acquired websites generated €12.9m in the first nine months of 2022, which Catena noted was a double-digit year-on-year decline in revenue. It also said the assets held a net book value of €27.2m as of October 2022.

GiG is expecting to receive a EBITDA margin of 60-70% going forward and the assets are expected to generate 53,000 first-time depositors (FTD) in 2022.

Catena focus shifts to North America

iGB reported in November that Catena was on the cusp of selling flagship brand AskGamblers among other assets. 

This emerged following a strategic review launched in May 2022, in which Catena explored the possibility of a sale.

Catena CEO Michael Daly

This review was later expanded as Catena considered divesting all its European betting and igaming assets in order to focus on the North American markets.

Catena Media CEO Michael Daly said: “Today’s agreement is a major step on our journey to focus the business on online sports betting and casino affiliation in high-growth, regulated markets in the Americas.

“I am confident that in Gaming Innovation Group we have found a buyer that will provide a strong environment for AskGamblers and the other brands and their talented people to develop and grow.”

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