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Novibet to go public and pursue new markets with $696m SPAC merger

| By Robert Fletcher
Special purpose acquisition company Artemis Strategic Investment Corporation and Logflex MT Holding, operating as Novibet, have agreed to merge, allowing the operator to list on the Nasdaq exchange.

The operator intends to use the capital that will become available through the deal to launch in new markets, both in Europe and the Americas.

Artemis will merge into a new wholly owned subsidiary of Novibet in a transaction based on Novibet’s pre-transaction enterprise valuation of $625.0m (£476.6m/€562.0m). 

Following the transaction, Novibet’s ordinary shares will be listed on the Nasdaq stock market, with Artemis founders and existing Novibet stakeholders to hold approximately 75% of the combined business at close.

The implied enterprise valuation of the transaction is approximately $696.0m. Novibet’s shareholders will roll at least 92% of their equity into ordinary shares of the combined business.

In terms of management, Rodolfo Odoni, the current owner of Novibet, will serve as chairman of the new Novibet while George Athanasopoulos, chief executive of Novibet, will remain in this role. Artemis will also appoint two representatives to the Novibet board.

The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both businesses and is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to approval by Artemis’ shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

“Novibet has a strong record of success developing a superior technical platform to address the global igaming opportunity in a manner that delivers profitable financial performance and positive cash flow,” Novibet chairperson and co-chief executive Holly Gagnon said.

“This record, combined with its demonstrated ability to successfully and profitably enter new markets as well as the significant opportunity to leverage its competitive advantages in new markets, including in North America, aligns with our original investment thesis and makes Novibet an ideal partner for Artemis.”

Proceeds from the business combination and expected ongoing positive cash flow growth from existing operations will be used to support Novibet’s multi-pronged growth strategy, which will include growing its presence in existing market and launching in new regions.

This will cover moving into European markets such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Romania, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, France and Spain, as well as igaming expansion in the US, Canada and Latin America, including Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.

Novibet said its other near-term strategic growth initiatives include pursuing a returns-focused acquisition strategy to acquire complementary igaming operators to further diversify its markets.

“We expect the available growth capital and ongoing positive cash flow growth from Novibet’s current operations, coupled with our own substantial industry expertise, will provide a significant benefit to Novibet’s efforts to continue to grow share in its existing markets and simultaneously address new markets, including the large North American igaming and sports betting opportunity along with the Latin American market,” Gagnon said.

“We are confident that Novibet’s proven, efficient, digital-focused customer acquisition strategy and depth of content offerings will enable it to deliver continued profitable growth as it launches its North American offerings beginning early next year.”

Athanasopoulos of Novibet added: “As we move closer to launching in additional markets where we can leverage our product and technology advantages, that focus will not waver. Our proposed combination with Artemis will enable us to both accelerate growth in our existing markets and efficiently enter newer markets. 

“We see a significant growth opportunity in North America as our planned launch of operations in the US, Canada and Mexico will significantly grow our total addressable market with our expected initial market access agreements for seven states enabling us to reach 14% of the US population. 

“We believe our execution on these strategies will result in consistent cash flow growth which, combined with our new access to the US financial markets, will help us to continue to invest in growth opportunities and drive significant long-term shareholder value.”

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