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Catena Media Announces the Acquisition of All Affiliate Related Assets in the BayBets

Catena Media has acquired all affiliate related assets in largest German-focused sports betting affiliate BayBets for an upfront payment of €26.5m

Catena Media plc (“Catena Media”) has agreed to acquire all affiliate related assets in Baybets Ltd (“Baybets”). The purchase price amounts to an upfront payment of €26.5m, and also includes earn-out payments of up to €63.5m, based on the performance of the acquired assets over a period of 24 months beginning the 1st of December, 2017.

According to Catena Media, the integration is expected to be completed in the mid-December, 2017. The acquisition is set to generate quarterly sales of approximately EUR 2.25 million with an operating margin of approximately 70%.

The acquisition includes 50 websites and other affiliate related assets, as well as a current team of 23 employees, who will form part of Catena Media’s Sports division, based at its offices in Malta. With the acquisition of BayBets, Catena Media is expecting to strengthen its offering within the sports betting segment and the German market, where BayBets is primarily focused. 

 

sigma-igaming-catena-media

Catena Media exhibiting at SiGMA 2017

 

Henrik Persson Ekdahl, Acting CEO, Catena Media, says, “We are proud to announce the largest acquisition made by Catena Media since company inception, making us one of the strongest sports betting affiliate players on the market. We have set ambitious financial targets for the company, and the acquisition is fully in line with those targets. We are excited about being able to complete this deal, given the upcoming sports year of 2018, which will have both the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.”

“I would like to thank all the people that have been involved in the company’s journey so far, bringing us to where we are today. We now look forward reaching new heights together with Catena Media on a long-term basis, both from an operational perspective and as shareholders. We are excited for all the upcoming opportunities that await”, says Jan Steffen, CEO, BayBets.

 

 

Catena Media Acquires PokerScout.com

European affiliate network Catena Media has announced the acquisition of PokerScout.com

The Malta-based Catena Media has paid $350,000 to purchase the US-facing affiliate operations of PokerScout.com. The company believes that it is going to “contribute to Catena Media’s brand-first strategy in both the US and global markets”.

The acquisition is also expected to improve the site’s «usability and visibility» in order to strengthen its position in the US, particularly Pennsylvania. Last month, the governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf has signed new legislation that will allow gambling online, and will open a new market for regulated online poker and casino games, becoming the fourth state to allow online gaming.

Catena already operates multiple media assets in Pennsylvania and owns several domains tailored to the market.

Henrik Persson Ekdahl, CEO of Catena Media, commented, «We are proud of the acquisition of PokerScout, which is the leading traffic comparison site for the online poker industry.

“This acquisition is well-timed given that Pennsylvania is set to open their market for online gaming. We hope that more states will follow in Pennsylvania’s footsteps,” Ekdahl added. “We have been prepared for a long time and this is a milestone for our continued expansion in the US.”

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?

Catena Media appoints Henrik Persson Ekdahl as acting CEO with immediate effect

The Board of Catena Media Plc has today appointed Henrik Persson Ekdahl as acting CEO with immediate effect and Robert Andersson leaves as CEO of the company. The board of directors has initiated this CEO change in order to fulfill the company’s strategy, continued growth and to increase shareholder value.

Henrik Persson

Henrik Persson Ekdahl

Henrik Persson Ekdahl is a member of the board of directors of Catena Media and also a partner in Optimizer Invest Ltd, one of the main owners of Catena Media. He replaces former CEO Robert Andersson. The Board would like to express its gratitude to Robert for his outstanding efforts and accomplishments.

Robert Andersson is being paid an amount equal to 6 months in accordance with his employment contract and a severance payment corresponding to an additional 6 months salary. The total cost will be declared in the next interim report.

Henrik Persson Ekdahl has broad international experience as a leader and CEO of several companies, including Betsafe and Betsson

Robert Andersson

Robert Andersson

Group. He will now work actively to push Catena Media’s continued growth and to increase shareholder value.

Kathryn Moore Baker, Chairwoman of Catena Media, comments:

“Catena Media has been through several growth stages in a short period of time. Robert Andersson’s assignment was to take the company through an IPO and later to introduce it to Nasdaq Stockholm’s main market, which he did with great results. Now, a new phase starts, which marks a new era in Catena Media’s success going forward. We are very pleased that Henrik Persson Ekdahl will take over as acting CEO. It sets the tone for what we want to achieve in the future. We will continue with our strong growth strategy and look for a permanent CEO in due time.”

Henrik Persson Ekdahl will assume his position as interim CEO with immediate effect.

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?

Interview with Robert Andersson, CEO of Catena Media

Recent waves of regulatory pressure on the iGaming industry have resulted in major operators like Sky Betting & Gaming, Ladbrokes and 888 either shutting down, reducing or reviewing their affiliate programmes in the UK

In light of these recent developments we caught up with Robert Andersson, CEO of Catena Media.

How does this affect the industry as a whole?

I welcome all measures taken to clean up the industry and put an end to affiliates using creative and dubious solutions to get ahead. The consequence of this will be a much fairer playing field, both for small and large affiliates.

 

How does the decision by Sky Betting, 888 and Ladbrokes to close down or significantly reduce their affiliate programs affect Catena Media?

Sky Betting, 888 and Ladbrokes continue to work with us as trusted partners, and we consider this testament to us having established ourselves as a listed company and trustworthy partner by being fully compliant and transparent towards the operator.

 

What do you think this means long-term for the industry?

Based on the positive changes we now see happening, I’m more confident than ever that this industry will continue to grow and mature, becoming increasingly professional and less fragmented. We will see a shift towards operators using large and trusted affiliates. Affiliate marketing is a natural part of all online business and has proven itself one of the most sustainable online business models. Just look at the travel industry and actors such as hotels.com.

Robert Andersson will be attending SiGMA this year, where Catena Media is exhibiting and also will be speaking in one of the workshops.

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?

Affiliate Grand Slam – Mission Accomplished, Wheel Reinvented!

The demand was there for all to see, but nobody seemed to address it until the organisers behind SiGMA came up with the magic formula: limit the conference to five affiliate managers and open the flood gates (with strict due diligence) for affiliates.

Affiliate Grand Slam represents the first conference in the history of affiliation where affiliates could apply for an all-inclusive VIP treat, including flights, five-star, two-night stay at the Hilton, excursions, lunches, dinners, and parties thrown in the mix.

Only five operators were allowed to host the Grand Slam, plus another five non-operators were allowed to sponsor it.

The event started off with 250 affiliates flying in to Tallinn from all corners of the world on Thursday 27th April. The SiGMA crew greeted each affiliate at the brand new, five star Hilton Park.

That same evening, each operator sat down privately with give-or-take fifty affiliates for a dinner within the hotel itself. Betting Gods, Olybet, PlayOJO, Quasar and Videoslots lavished with affiliates and nurtured new working relationships in a friendly environment. Good wine in abundance.

The night was far from over. After dinner, all guests headed down to Olympic Casino within the Hilton itself for welcome champagne, dark chocolate, cigars and a free-roll, networking poker tournament.

The organisers were hoping the night would end there and that affiliates won’t head out in the wilderness of Old Town, but, as anticipated, half their hopes went up in flames.

Still, next morning, breakfast was brimming with activity and all affiliates, bar a few casualties, seemed eager for the conference to start. Each operator gave a small presentation, followed by a series of quality workshops. Mini stalls, an exquisite buffet lunch table, coffee and Baltic treats cluttered the meet-market outside the conference hall, where handshakes and business cards were being exchanged.

Following a few hours at the Hilton spa, it was time for the big traditional dinner! Everyone headed to Olde Hansa, walking through the narrow, cobble streets of charming Old Town, for a feast back in time. Traditional cuisine made its way on all tables for everyone to share while more business cards exchanged hands.

Shortly after dinner, the closing night awaited at the Olympic Casino for a VIP, strictly by invite nighter-bender. Few guests joined the party, but the organisers would not elaborate. We can only guess how the night unfolded with 250 affiliates in this charming Baltic city.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The success of Affiliate Grand Slam was such that the industry won’t wait another year for the organisers to launch the second edition. A new city to uncover, new hosts, new affiliates. This is Affiliate Grand Slam. The wheel has been reinvented.

Full portfolio of images and video will be uploaded on our AGS and SiGMA sites – stay tuned! If you’re interested in hosting or sponsoring the next AGS get in touch with organisers on +356 99263626, by email at info@sigma.com.mt or by skype at eman.pulis.

Catena Media acquires casino affiliate newcomer of the year slotsia.com

Fast growing online performance marketing and lead generation company Catena Media further consolidates its market leader status in Sweden strengthening its position with the acquisition of Slotsia.com and its related assets.
Europe’s fastest growing lead generation company will have all the assets of the Swedish focused casino affiliate consolidated by the 1st Feb 2017. The secured assets are expected to generate sales of around €300,000 within the first quarter of 2017 with a pre-tax profit margin of more than 75%

Catena Media stand at SiGMA 2016

Catena Media stand at SiGMA 2016

Slotsia.com was founded in 2015 with a vision to become Sweden’s premier free play casino guide. They offer engaging gaming industry news, casino guides and casino Top Charts.

The terms of the acquisition see an upfront payment of €3,575,000 that will be paid as a cash consideration together with the transfer of the assets. Additionally, an earn out of maximum €5 million is in play which will be based on revenue performance for a period of two years. The sellers need to generate a revenue growth in excess of 130 percent within that period in order to achieve the full earnout amount.

Robert Andersson, CEO of Catena Media said: “We work continuously to identify attractive acquisition prospects that complement and strengthen our portfolio. Slotsia.com has demonstrated a solid growth, with an interesting content offering. This acquisition consolidates our leading affiliate position in Sweden even further.”

Catena Media Acquires US Online Gambling Assets

Online lead generation company Catena Media has entered the regulated US online gambling market by confirming the acquisition of licensed affiliate website assets from three separate US founders.

Catena Media governance, specifying acquisition details, stated that it has agreed to pay an upfront cash and shares deal valued at €15 million, with 25% of the deal being settled through a distribution of a total of 440,669 new shares in its business.

As a further deal incentive, based on revenue performance of the assets over a three-year period, it has placed a $45 million cap earn-out.

Catena stated that its new assets would contribute directly to corporate performance, and further detailed that the acquired websites had an estimated revenue €1 million per quarter, with a 75% operating margin.

The revenues generated stem from licensed operators in the regulated Casino and Poker markets in the states of Nevada and New Jersey. It is estimated that following the acquisition, close to 50% of Catena Media’s revenue will be derived from regulated markets.

While Catena governance did not disclose the name of individual assets, it did confirm that playnj.com and USPoker.com are among its acquired US online websites.

Commenting on the US acquisitions. Catena Media CEO Robert Andersson said: “We are very excited about this opportunity, which will not only see Catena Media becoming the largest regulated casino affiliate in the US, but also puts us in pole position to take advantage of further re-regulation in what has the potential to become the world’s largest iGaming market. This is an important step in realizing our vision to become the world´s number one provider of high-value iGaming leads.”

This year has seen Catena Media move to increase its international affiliate network as the company moves to extend its player marketing footprint in regulated iGaming and betting markets. This month, Catena confirmed its £10 million acquisition of leading UK player portal Casinouk.com.

Website co-founder and seller to Catena Media, Aaron McCann, commented: “We are impressed with Catena Media and are excited to join their strong and experienced team, which will enable us to take advantage of the many strategic and 2 D-2452017-v2 financial benefits expected from the regulation in the US. We look forward to continuing the journey we have started, and Catena Media is a great match for us.”

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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.

Erik Bergman

Erik Bergman, CEO of Catena Media will participate in the CEO panel speech about the bright future of affiliate marketing. Catena Media has grown from 3 employees in 2012 to 22 employees in 2014 and aim to keep the same high pace.

“We are reinvesting all our profits in the business and we are constantly looking for other affiliates that might be interesting options for mergers or acquisitions”, describes Erik. In May 2013 the site JohnSlots was founded. Already within its first year it became among the biggest online casino guides in Scandinavia and since then it has kept growing. In early 2014 the twin site of JohnSlots was launched, MrBet with the aim to duplicate the same journey,

“The key to success has been great content, and a lot of it. We have reviewed over 600 games in four different languages that all can be demo played on our sites. We have great relationships with over 75 gaming operators that help us contribute great offers to our visitors. These have been two of the main factors to the rapid growth of our company”, Erik explains further.

Catena Media acquires the award-winning affiliate AskGamblers.com for EUR 15 million

On 3 April 2016, Catena Media acquired the acknowledged and highly regarded affiliate website AskGamblers.comfor EUR 15 million and thereby consolidates its position as Europe’s fastest growing company in lead generation. The transaction is the largest in Catena Media’s history and its third strategic acquisition thus far this year.

On 3 April 2016, Catena Media plc’s fully owned subsidiary acquired the affiliate website AskGamblers.com(“AskGamblers”). AskGamblers operates one of the markets most highly visited web portals for player reviews and rankings of online casinos. The company also provides players with the unique opportunity of trying online casino-related disputes via the portal and, to date, this has resulted in more than EUR 5 million being repaid to players. Players across Europe utilise AskGamblers with the UK being the company’s largest market. At the prestigious iGB Affiliate Awards, AskGamblers has won the Best Casino Affiliate for three consecutive years, most recently in 2015. The transaction includes all affiliate accounts, domains, mobile apps and social media accounts.

AskGamblers’ sales in the first quarter of 2016 amounted to approximately EUR 810,000 with a profit margin surpassing 80%. The revenue stems from organic traffic under revenue sharing agreements and is expected to generate at least 25,000 new depositing clients each year. Revenue will accrue to Catena Media from and including 1 April 2016.

AskGamblers’ development centre is based in Serbia and comprises a team of 30 employees, all of whom will be offered continued employment by Catena Media. This will give the company access to a talent pool of skilled employees in technical development and programming. Accordingly, Catena Media now has approximately 130 employees and has offices in three countries.

“We are incredibly proud of acquiring AskGamblers which is one of the best brands in the affiliate market and whose operations are a perfect fit for Catena Media. AskGamblers is an extremely important site for casino operators and, through its stringent requirements for certified casinos, contributes to creating a better iGaming industry. The transaction is the largest in Catena Media’s history and in line with our strategy of growth through acquisitions in a fragmented market. In parallel, we are strengthening our team with a number of highly skilled individuals and this transaction provides us with the opportunity to build the office in Serbia into an extremely cost-efficient development centre for Catena Media,” says Robert Andersson, CEO of Catena Media.

The purchase price amounts to EUR 15 million, which will be paid in three tranches: EUR 3 million will be paid on completion of the transaction; EUR 8.25 million will be paid when all assets have been transferred to Catena Media and EUR 3.75 million will be paid six months after the acquisition has been completed.

“Catena Media has grown into one of the most interesting actors in our industry and it feels particularly exciting that AskGamblers will now enter the next phase together with them,” says Igor Salindrija, founder and previous owner ofAskGamblers.com.

About Catena Media
Catena Media was founded in 2012 and is engaged in performance marketing and lead generation predominantly within the iGaming industry. The company thereby attracts substantial numbers of online players through various products and services, and directs them to a number of B2B customers, mainly consisting of iGaming operators. Catena Media focuses primarily on customers who operate online casinos on their own websites. Customers typically use a network of marketing partners, known as affiliates, to promote their products and services and, thus attract more online players to their websites. iGaming operators remunerate Catena Media for each online player that it generates for the operator through such websites as www.johnslots.com/sv/ and www.rightcasino.com. Catena Media’s core markets are Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The company has approximately 100 employees. The Group’s headquarter is located in Sliema, Malta.