Sisal files for Milan Borsa IPO seven years after first attempt

Sisal SPA, the operating company of Italy’s SuperEnalotto lottery and Matchpoint betting shops, has filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to list its business on the Milan Borsa Exchange

Reuters reports that the CVC Capital owned gambling group has agreed to sell its shares to an unnamed private equity firm.  

Although most of the firm’s revenues come from its home market in Italy, the company has looked to bolster its international position across various European markets, having notably joined the fourth National Lottery licencing competition in the UK.

The Italian suitor faces stiff competition in the contest, going up against incumbent operator Camelot as well as the Sazka Group’s Allwyn subsidiary and the Northern & Shell Group, and is being judged on a number of criteria.

Supported in its bid financially by CVC Capital, the firm joined the competition later than others in April, although its position has been bolstered with the backing of prominent UK broadcaster BT.

Additionally, upon entering the contest, company Chief Executive Francesco Durante confirmed that Sisal had partnered with children’s charity Bernados to enhance its commitment to good causes as part of its bid.

Funds raised through the upcoming IPO on the Milan Borsa could be directed towards a further strengthening of Sisal’s National Lottery campaign, which if successful will see the company secure the operating rights to the product for the next decade.

​​In 2014 Sisal abandoned plans to float on the Milan Borsa, as Deutsche Bank and UBS advised the company to withdraw its listing citing that changing Italian regulatory conditions would see Sisal fail to match its target valuation of €1 billion.

A year later Sisal would be acquired by CVC Capital, as the US PE fund undertook a series of back-to-back M&As building its European gambling portfolio that included German sportsbook Tipico and Sky Bet.

Although advising the firm to abandon its IPO ambitions in 2014, Deutsche Bank will support the firm’s newly announced listing as a global coordinator, alongside JP Morgan and UniCredit Corporate & Investment Banking.

Sisal weighs up its IPO as sweeping changes appear on the horizon of Italian gambling, as industry regulator ADM maintains its decree mandate to  cap the regulated marketplace to 40 concessions.   

Elsewhere, market consolidation saw IGT Plc depart the Italian B2C market, selling its Lottomatica sports betting and gaming units to Gamenet Group – which executed a €950 million purchase funded by US backer Blackstone Capital

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