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Malta-based AXL Affiliates buys Astute Media for €25 Million

AXL Affiliates Ltd, a global independent iGaming Company based in Malta, announced that it has acquired ASTUTE MEDIA LTD as well as all the firm’s subsidiary companies  – twelve of them. ASTUTE MEDIA is a global advertising platform that delivers over 900M+ ad impressions per day, through its twelve subsidiaries. The purchase will help AXL Affiliates reach new markets and territories and will strengthen its leading position in the sportsbetting affiliate sector.

With this amazing acquisition, by far our biggest one so far, we are reaching new heights in our quest for becoming the leading iGaming Affiliate Company in the world. AXL Affiliates is a fast-growing company and I am confident that this acquisition will double the leads that we are delivering to our iGaming partners. says Alex Munteanu, Founder and President of AXL Affiliates.

SiGMA met with AXL Media two years ago and spoke vividly about the benefits of relocating business to Malta. The company has since established a solid presence in Malta, generating quality traffic to several opeartors, but also supporting the local sporting scene with sponsorship. The latest to benefit from this cause is Maltese boxer Billy Corito.

The acquisition of ASTUTE MEDIA LTD for the record-breaking amount of £22 million represents a climax for AXL Affiliates who now has all the resources in-house for becoming the biggest sportsbetting affiliate company worldwide. The accession of AXL Affiliates, following this acquisition, will create new opportunities for further expansion as well as for a possible IPO.

As a result of this acquisition, in the coming weeks, AXL Affiliates will send 10x more traffic to its partners. Our expectations are that by mid-2018 the AXL group will be able to organically send more than 25,000 leads per month.says Alex Munteanu, Founder and President of AXL Affiliates.

SiGMA16 BiG Charity Dinner & Gaming Awards

Fun at the Malta Gaming Awards 2016!

AXL’s aim is to strengthen their position as a leading betting affiliate in Europe as earlier this year the gaming company acquired UK based TipsBetting Media Ltd for £260,000, as well as the sports affiliate website oddstake.com and all their related assets for a record €1.15 million.

AXL Affiliates Ltd is one of the biggest iGaming affiliate companies in the world, delivering 6000 NDC’s per month from their own network of 2000+ gaming and sports related websites.

AXL Affiliates Ltd is one of the biggest iGaming affiliate companies in the world, delivering 6000 NDC’s per month from their own network of 2000+ gaming and sports related websites. Given their presence in Malta, they have been nominated as one of the three finalists for Investor of The Year Award at the Malta Gaming Awards later this month.

Better Collective expands market by acquiring Pull Media

Better Collective has expanded their market by acquiring  Pull Media a French digital company. This step is seen as a significant move in their extensively growing acquisition strategy.

Pull Media enables Better Collective to become a leader of the regulated French market instantly.

The acquisition of various Pull Media sites beyond the French market, strengthens their focus markets, such as Germany and the UK.

Despite the big impact they already have on the German speaking market, specifically after just recently acquiring the similar-priced Austrian company SportFreunde GmbH, the company saw big potential in the French company in order to reinforce their position.

The deal was prompted due to the high-quality content generated by Pull Meid. The acquisition will now give the company the possibility to grow at the side of the EGR Nordic Affiliate Award winner of the year 2016.

Automatically, it will enable Better Collective to gain more foothold in markets such as Italy and France, where they previously were less established and to evolve into one of the key affiliates. Furthermore, their amount of employees will increase by an additional number of 35 people which triggers a growth plan in order to extend Better Collective.

More than 200 sites where part of the acquisition and most are related to sports books. The values promoted on the sites from Better Collective align well with those from Pull Media and ensure that the core value synergy is moving forward.

Part of Better Collective’s long-term strategy is to expand its range within some of Europe’s most stable and important markets as well as entering new emerging markets, in which the acquisition of Pull Media fitted perfectly.
Additionally,existing synergies, enable the company to improve the overall performance and to extend the growth across existing and recently acquired sites.

Better Collective’s Founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard said: “Better Collective is really excited to acquire Pull Media and we see it as a great fit for both companies. Pull Media showed some impressive growth in the last few years and now we are looking forward to drive it even further. We are certain that with the existing resources and synergies we will be able to effectively grow the whole of Better Collective’s network becoming one of the strongest players in the highly competitive affiliate market.”

Pull Media’s CEO John Samson stated: “Following 7 years of steady growth internationally, Pull Media needed to go to the next level. With the help of Blueprint Partners we looked for consolidation partners and Better Collective came as the perfect fit for us, notably in terms of working synergies and company cultures. Our team is really excited to share best practices, tools and betting services within the new group.”

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Clarion buys US-based Affiliate Summit

It was announced by the co-CEOs that Affiliate Summit has been acquired by Clarion Events. Missy Ward and Shawn Collins have been working on this sale since the beginning of 2017, and have been able to conclude the deal before Affiliate Summit East New York, due to start next week.

The plans are for the management to stay, with both CEOs already working on Affiliate Summit West. Under this new acquisition, however, plans are underway to develop the show both domestically and internationally and, possibly, an addition of a third Affiliate Summit in the U.S., as well as Affiliate Summit outside the states.

Affiliate Summit: Missy Ward & Shawn Collins

Such growth will be made possible thanks also to the expertise that Clarion brings with it. I

t is a new chapter for Affiliate Summit, and we wish both Missy Ward and Shawn Collins the best of luck moving forward!

We’re Attending Affiliate Summit East

We look forward to attend ASE between July 30 and August 1, 2017, where thousands of digital marketers from some 80 countries will gather in NYC for the performance marketing industry’s premier global event.

GIG signs largest affiliate acquisition

Malta-based Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) and its subsidiary Innovation Labs have acknowledged a deal to obtain the affiliate website Casinotopsonline.com for €11.5 million.

GIG stated that this acquisition, which is their largest to date, will significantly strengthen its position as a leading affiliate in Europe. Their vision is to make the iGaming industry “an open and connected ecosystem for the benefit of all” and this acquisition is in keeping with that vision.

The agreement will include the website Casinotopsonline.com along with all related assets. The acquired assets current yearly revenue run-rate is around €3 million and an EBIT margin over 90%.

Robin Eirik Reed Group CEO at GIG speaking at SiGMA16

Group CEO at GIG Robin Eirik Reed speaking at SiGMA16

It is expected that this purchase will increase annual referred first-time depositors by approximately 25,000 and further enhance Innovation Labs’ position outside of Scandinavia and regulated markets like the UK.

CEO of GIG Robin Eirik Reed stated: “The aim of GIG is to build the largest distribution network in iGaming for our clients and suppliers, and as such creating an eco-system for iGaming. This acquisition is our largest in the affiliate space till date and will significantly increase Our traffic driving capability. More so it was done facing stiff competition, at an attractive multiple of four on current revenue run-rate, excluding potential cost and revenue synergies. We are delighted to acquire casinotopsonline.com.”

CEO of Casinotopsonline.com Mihail Todorov also had this to say: “I am very excited about GIG taking this product further, and look forward to help them achieve the goals and vision for this unique project.”

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.

KPMG has acquired P5+ Management Ltd

International audit tax and advisory services company KPMG has recently acquired P5+ Management Ltd. (P5+) which is a talent advisory firm that offers management acquisition and retention advisory services as well as customised people development programmes.

The company will be renamed KPMG Talent (P5+) and is led by Malcolm Pace Debono who has been appointed a director in KPMG. His appointment brings the firm’s engagement leaders to thirty-one. The P5+ team comprises of over nine talented management specialists which include resident consultant Ph.D’s in the field.

KPMG’s game plan involves strengthening their people and change service offering. This acquisition falls in line with their vision to be the ‘Clear Choice’ for their clients as they continue to grow and innovate their service offerings.
They also expressed how this will enable them to offer clients a more “holistic suite of talent management, acquisition and retention services in a climate characterised by significant human resource shortages and challenges.”

You are invited to contact Mr Malcolm Debono (mpacedebono@kpmg.com.mt)  or Mr Tonio Zarb directly who would be more than willing to provide any assistance in this area.

Mr Green purchases online gaming company Dansk Underholdning

Malta-based and leading European online gaming company Mr Green plans to launch their online casino in Denmark this year after today purchasing all of the shares of the Danish online gaming company Dansk Underholdning.

Dansk Underholdning the multi-branded bingo and casino operator who holds a Danish casino gaming licence has a very strong base in the Danish gaming market. Seeing that Dansk Underholdning was a cash acquisition, the board of directors of Mr Green plans to propose no dividends to be paid for the 2016 financial year at their Annual General Meeting.

Mr Green's stand at SiGMA 2016

Mr Green’s stand at SiGMA 2016

Mr Green offers casino and sportsbook games with a vision of expansion into new geographic markets. This purchase aligns with their vision and is expected to have a positive effect on their earnings per share and operating cash flow in 2017.

In 2016, Dansk Underholdning generated revenue of approximately EUR 3.9 million. They also reported a year-on-year growth of 27 per cent.
Some of the well-known brands that are housed under Dansk Underholdning include Bingosjov and Bingoslottet och Balletbingo.
Peter Eugen Clausen, CEO and co-founder of Dansk Underholdning is expected to stay on as CEO of the company after the acquisition.

The purchase consideration is calculated using an EBITDA multiple of seven for the annualised earnings during the period May 2016 up to and including March 2017. The acquisition is cash financed with an initial purchase consideration of approximately EUR 9 million in March/April 2017 and an additional purchase consideration of maximum EUR 650,000 may be triggered in April 2018 provided that certain conditions have been met.

Mr Green is expected to be launched along Dansk Underholdning’s existing brands with synergies happening with the introduction of the various products and services Mr Green has to offer in Denmark.

Per Norman, CEO of Mr Green & Co. stated: “Since we are focusing on expanding to locally regulated markets, an acquisition in Denmark has been high on our list. Dansk Underholdning is a successful company that we warmly welcome into the Mr Green family”.

Peter Eugen Clausen, CEO and co-founder of Dansk Underholdning commented: “We are excited to become part of Mr Green, which, in my opinion, is one of the most skilled operators in the industry. The deal is a perfect match as it combines Mr Greens competencies and economies of scale with the Danish presence and local knowledge of Dansk Underholdning. We look forward introducing Mr Green in Denmark.”

The acquisition is conditional on the approval of the Danish Gambling Authority and consolidation is expected to take place in April 2017.

Betsson acquires NetPlay TV boosting their UK expansion

The Swedish online gaming group Betsson AB announces their plan to continue their expansion into the UK market in 2017 with the acquisition of the interactive gaming operator NetPlay TV.

Betsson governance reveals that they have made a cash offer to obtain the London AIM-listed company for a grand amount of £26.4 million.

This transaction is expected to be finalised by April and still has to be approved by the UK High Court of Justice and NetPlay TV shareholders. In order for the acquisition to go through, 75% acceptance is needed. Several investors in the gambling company have already given the thumbs up for the deal with the purchase being seen as a way of increasing their presence in the highly saturated UK online gambling market.

Betsson team at their stand during SiGMA16

Betsson team at their stand during SiGMA16

NetPlay TV generated a revenue of £14.7 million last year for the six months ended June 30. They currently run three casinos, sports betting and bingo brands as well as a B2B business that focuses on providing online digital marketing services and related operations.

Ulrik Bengtsson - on the right

Ulrik Bengtsson – on the right

CEO of Betsson Group Ulrik Bengtsson who was a speaker at one of the SiGMA 2016 conferences entitled “Catapulting Malta into the future”, made a short statement on his firm acquiring three established UK betting brands (Jackpot24/7, SuperCasino and Vernons) as well as the NetPlay asset which would see future growth and efficiency in scalability once integrated with its Techsson platform.

“Betsson’s experience of operating successful casino brands will add to NetPlay’s earnings and growth. We have a long-term view on NetPlay and will achieve significant cost synergies and operational improvements over time. Part of Betsson’s acquisition strategy is to add volume to its scalable Techsson platform and to increase the share of regulated revenue,” he commented.

CEO of NetPlay Bjarke Larsen endorsed Betsson’s  approach  stating: “With the changing market dynamics and as the market continues to consolidate, we believe now is the right time to take advantage of this opportunity to realise value for all of our shareholders.”

Catena Media Announces Casino UK Acquisition

Catena Media, the lead generation and online marketing company have expanded their reach with the acquisition of Casino UK. The purchase price which is payable upon completion amounted to €10.6 million.

The purchase was penned on November 30, 2016 and under the terms of the acquisition, Catena Media will consolidate Casino UK and their related assets in their own operation in order to “utilise the synergies” between the two companies.

Casino UK website is estimated to generate a revenue of around €600,000 per quarter with an operating margin of about 80%. Most of its revenue comes from the UK market. They currently provide reviews about UK-facing online casinos popular casino games guides and other gambling related content.

Catena Media CEO Robert Andersson commented on his company’s acquisition in a press release on Thursday stating how pleased they were with the opportunity to strengthen their UK position.

Catena Media also acquired another UK-based and oriented website SBAT, a sports statistics and betting tips website earlier in October at a cost of €3.2 million (with an option for an additional earn-out of up to €10.5 million).

Catena Media was founded in 2012 and proves to be a fast growing lead generation company having offices in the United Kingdom, Serbia and Malta. Their main focus during the past year has been on growing their market position within the iGaming industry by organic growth and strategic acquisition of key affiliate businesses in its main markets of interest.

Within Catena Media’s four-year history, they made gambling news this spring with their largest transaction to date being the acquisition of the Serbian affiliate portal AskGamblers for the amount of €15 million. Within the past several months as well the company has purchased several affiliate brands in the Italian, UK and German markets.

Betfred set to gain betting shop portfolio from Ladbrokes-Coral

British bookmakers Betfred seems to be set to win the bid for the 360 betting shops being sold off as a result of the £2.2 billion (€2.5 billion) Ladbrokes and Gala Coral merger.

Earlier this year the Irish betting chain Boylesports made a €118 million bid for betting shops confirming their interest at the sell-off in the initial stages. However, Betfair is the frontrunners in the process and  industry source experts predict that Boylesports will be unsuccessful when the winning bids are announced  shortly.

The green light was given to Ladbrokes and Gala Coral to sell off in July by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. But in order to meet UK CMA competition standards, the sale of hundreds of shops was necessary as it became potential competition issues in over 600 locations.

Betfred which is based in Warrington, UK currently operates over 1,370 betting shops. One of the UK’s big ‘4’ high street bookmakers, the chain is determined in their expansion plans. In 2011 they bought the British state-owned bookmaker The Tote business in a deal that was worth £265 million.

Betfred founder Fred Done has expressed his firm’s interest in obtaining the Ladbrokes-Coral real estate as well earlier on in 2015 when the two companies announced their merger.

The results of the Ladbrokes-Coral betting shops is expected to have an official announcement within the next few days.

Cherry acquires Betman AB assets furthering Swedish growth

As of the 1st October 2016, Stockholm-listed Cherry AB (Cherry) has agreed to acquire Betman AB assets which will aid in the expansion of their Swedish gambling portfolio. Betman restaurant casino currently operates in 15 venues which include 27 gaming tables in Stockholm, Visby and Sälen. Cherry will acquire the casino agreement, equipment and the staff of Betman.

Cherry disclosed that the acquisition would be at a price of SEK 3.9 million (£350,000/€407,000) with the proviso that Betman will receive a cash payment of SEK 2.3 million upon acquisition and the remaining amount paid during Q3 2017. The deal is expected to generate an ROI within a two-year frame with the acquisition expecting to contribute SEK 11 million in revenue with a positive EBITDA of SEK 2 million.

According to the 2016 September Swedish Lotteries Gaming Authority statistics, Cherry will widen its market presence after this acquisition of restaurant casino to approximately 68% of the active gaming venues.

CEO Cherry AB Fredrik Burvall confirmed and commented on the acquisition stating:“The acquisition of Betman means that we further solidify our leadership position in the restaurant casino market. It further strengthens our position in Stockholm, Sälen and Visby and adds qualified personnel, while we can use our scale advantage to help the venues perform even better.”