Novibet greenlights Artemis SPAC merger to move beyond European shores  

Novibet has declared its intentions to merge with Nasdaq-listed SPAC Artemis Strategic Investment Corporation (Artemis), to pursue new growth opportunities across Europe and the Americas.

The Greek market and Pan-European betting group will pursue a merger with Artemis that will lead to Novibet’s intended listing on the Global Nasdaq Exchange, based on a “pre-transaction valuation of $625 million”.

Should the transaction be finalised, Artemis investors and existing Novibet stakeholders will hold 75% of the combined company shareholding ahead of the listing.

Formed in 2021, Artemis listed its SPAC vehicle on the Nasdaq, last September raising a reported £205 million to fund its merger pursuit.  

The SPAC is led by the management team of CEO Holly Gagnon former VP of Finance for Caesars Entertainment; Philip Kaplan (Co-CEO), former Chief Executive of GameWorks; Thomas Granite (CFO), former Merrill Lynch Director and Scott Shulak (advisor), former VP of Maverick Gaming.

Alerting Nasdaq investors, Artemis underlined Novibet’s proven credentials within European markets in which the group expects to generate $156 million in net gaming revenues and EBITDA of $20 million for FY2022.

Leading the transaction Holly Gagnon said: “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.

“Over the last three years, Novibet has consistently grown iGaming and sports betting users while also increasing the number of bets or hands played per user, resulting in a nearly 69% increase in the twelve-month value of each user to $617 in 2021 when compared to 2019.”

Proceeds from the transaction will be utilised to help Novibet execute its “multi-pronged growth strategy” across Europe and North/South American markets.

Expanding its presence within Europe, Novibet seeks to execute a multi-phase expansion in the new markets of Sweden, the Netherlands, Romania, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, France and Spain via a joint venture partnership or strategic, accretive M&A.

Elsewhere, the firm has also disclosed an array of impending growth ventures across North America, with Novibet said to be in the process of finalising igaming or online sportsbook market access across seven US states.

The Artemis deal will guarantee Novibet Sportsbook launch in the states of Pennsylvania, with launch anticipated in the second quarter of next year, followed by New Jersey (online gaming and sports betting) also expected during H1 2023.

Rodolfo Odoni, the current owner of Novibet, will be named Chair of the company; with George Athanasopoulos remaining CEO of the firm. Artemis will appoint two representatives to the Novibet board of directors.

“Novibet has always focused on generating revenue growth that delivers positive cash flow,” CEO George Athanasopoulos told investors.

“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 TAM with our expected initial market access agreements for seven states enabling us to reach 14% of the US population. 

“Furthermore, with approximately $135 million of expected unrestricted cash (assuming no redemptions) and positive cash flow from operations, we will be well-positioned to opportunistically pursue accretive acquisitions that can further grow our revenue and profitability.

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

 

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