Entain makes $300m Canada play acquiring Mohawk bookmaker Sports Interaction

Entain Plc has this afternoon confirmed that it has acquired leading Canadian sportsbook brand Sports Interaction by striking a  CAD300 million (£175m) deal to acquire operator Avid Gaming. 

The FTSE100 gambling group brokered a deal with Middlebrook Investments Limited, the owner of Avid Gaming, whose Sports Interaction brand is licensed, to exclusively provide online gambling services for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke – under the terms of the Mohawk Online socio-economic initiative.

The deal sees Entain target a podium place within Canada’s disrupted gambling marketplace, which saw the state of Ontario formally launch its online gambling regime this weekend.

“Together with Entain’s application for an Ontario licence, this acquisition provides an excellent opportunity to drive further growth, in line with the Group’s growth and sustainability strategy,” read Entain’s transaction statement.

Updating stakeholders, Entain confirmed that Avid Gaming Chief Executive Will Golby, along with other senior members, would transition to Entain – that aims to deliver Canadian Provinces leading online gambling offering alongside the brands of Bwin and Party Gaming. 

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, commented: “Sports Interaction is the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand and is aligned perfectly with our own ambitions of great customer service and ambitious growth, coupled with an unwavering commitment to sustainability.  

“It is highly complementary to our existing operations in Canada, and the combination of its local expertise and Entain’s powerful platform will provide customers with an unrivalled range of exciting and engaging products in this fast-growing market.”

For the financial year of 2021, Sports Interaction is reported to have generated corporate revenues of CAD $76 million (£44m) combined with an EBITDA of CAD $18 million (£10.5m)

Following its socio-economic contribution to the community of Kahnawà:ke, Sports Interaction registered profits before tax of CAD $17.4 million (£10m).

Dealmakers anticipate that the combination will deliver CAD $15 (£8.7m) of corporate synergies by 2023, attributed to technology, content and procurement benefits

Entain disclosed that it had applied a 7x 2023 EBITDA multiple when considering its CAD300 million – that will be paid from existing facilities.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Entain, which is an exceptional company combining world-class brands, strong leadership and a winning strategy,” Golby added.

“It has a unique approach to local markets, and no other company of its scale consistently delivers so many well-executed, localised approaches to the same level of customisation and detail.

“Entain’s commitment to sustainability, responsible gaming and community investment aligns exactly with our own business philosophy, and we look forward to a bright future together.”

The firm will continue to support the socioeconomic efforts of the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke through Sports Interaction’s unique exclusive relationship with Mohawk Online. 

In line with economic principles adopted by Canada under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Mohawk Online revenues are invested back into the community of Kahnawà:ke to provide essential funding for cultural and language programmes, schools, healthcare and other public services. 

Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, Grand Chief of Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke, concluded: “Entain is a world-class operator with a genuine desire to positively contribute to the communities in which it operates.”

“This new partnership between Entain and the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke is mutually beneficial, and brings with it a prime opportunity for bolstering our self-sufficiency through the continuing success of Sports Interaction.”

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