In order to support Aspire Global plc’s (”Aspire Global” or the ”Company”) continued growth and development, Aspire Global today announced its intention to apply for listing of the Company’s shares on Nasdaq First North Premier in Stockholm and to sell a combination of existing shares and newly issued shares of the Company (the “Offering”).
Aspire Global is a Business to Business (“B2B”) service provider for the online gaming market and offers its B2B partners a full-service solution for launching and operating online casinos. In addition to Aspire Global’s B2B service offering, the Company operates several proprietary casino brands, such as Karamba and Hopa. During 2016, 46% of the Company’s revenue was generated from regulated and/or taxed markets and Aspire Global’s adjusted revenue amounted to EUR 60.2 million, adjusted EBITDA amounted to EUR 11.4 million, and adjusted EBITDA-margin amounted to 19%. During the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, Aspire Global’s adjusted revenue amounted to EUR 15.9 million, corresponding to a growth in adjusted revenue of 5%, adjusted EBITDA of EUR 2.7 million and adjusted EBITDA-margin of 17%.
The timing of the Offering is dependent on the completion of a number of administrative processes in the Company’s legal domicile, Malta, such as the affiliation of the Company’s shares with the central securities depositories Clearstream and Euroclear Sweden.
Background to the Offering
Since 2014, Aspire Global has focused on strengthening its position within the industry by developing and improving its B2B offering as well as growing its proprietary brands. Aspire Global has during this time managed strong growth with very limited marketing expenditure towards new partners. Aspire Global, the Board of Directors and the selling shareholders believe that the Company is now in a position to leverage the strong platform and position established during the last few years to accelerate Aspire Global’s growth. Among other things, the Offering and subsequent listing of the Company’s shares on Nasdaq First North Premier are expected to strengthen Aspire Global’s recognition and brand awareness among players, partners, investors, employees and the sector in general as well as provide access to capital in order to finance Aspire Global’s growth strategy. The listing will also enhance the ability of Aspire Global to use its shares as currency in future acquisitions.
Commitments to acquire shares
Swedbank Robur Fonder AB has, as a Cornerstone Investor, committed to, under conventional terms and conditions and at the same price as other investors, acquire shares in the Offering. Based on full subscription in the Offering, the commitment of Swedbank Robur Fonder AB corresponds to around 26% of the number of shares in the Offering and around 8% of the total number of shares in the Company after the Offering.
In addition to Swedbank Robur Fonder, two additional Swedish institutions and a group of entrepreneurs within the internet sector have expressed their intention to subscribe for shares in the Offering corresponding to around 27% of the number of shares in the Offering and around 8% of the total number of shares in the Company after the Offering. These investors are not guaranteed full allocation, but might be considered separately in allocation.
In total, the commitment of Swedbank Robur Fonder AB and indications from other investors correspond to around 53% of the total number of shares in the Offering and around 15% of the total number of shares in the Company after the Offering.
Carl Klingberg, incoming chairman of the board comments:
“Aspire Global is active in a very dynamic market where we see a lot of growth potential as the market becomes regulated and land-based gaming moves online. For a person who has been working within the industry for many years this development is thrilling, and I believe that Aspire Global’s offering is perfectly positioned with its holistic service for new operators in the gaming market. In addition, Aspire Global has a very competent management and staff who have built a simple, yet advanced platform for companies with large amounts of internet traffic. Until now, Aspire Global has grown organically, but we see a large potential to accelerate this growth supported by acquisitions. Our possibility to achieve this growth is further improved by the listing of the Company which will contribute to increased transparency and enhances our ability to make large investments in a market which changes and develops rapidly.”
Tsachi Maimon, CEO comments:
“I’m very excited about the journey Aspire Global has had during the last few years. We see both an increased number of players in our proprietary casinos and a stronger than ever recognition of the Aspire Global brand among partner casinos. 2017 started off strong with 12 new partner casinos either already operating on our platform, or planned to launch during the year. Supporting this strong growth is the trend of many EU countries regulating their gaming markets and many others are on-track to do the same. The regulated environment places significantly higher and further reaching demands on the individual gaming operator. With our gaming platform, we make it easier for new gaming companies to get started and offer games to their customers in a cost-effective manner.
Choosing Stockholm as the Company’s listing venue is an important part of the Company’s development as there is great gaming expertise here in addition to a host of partners and suppliers. There is also a great deal of knowledge among Swedish investors, as there are already a large number of listed gaming companies here. For Aspire, the listing provides an opportunity to attract skilled investors and quickly develop and position the Company ahead of future market regulation in a number of EU countries.” Adjusted revenue relate to revenue adjusted for operations which have been discontinued during 2017.
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