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Zeal Network SE Announces Takeover Offer For Germany’s Largest Private Digital Lottery Broker Lotto24 AG

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Zeal Network SE Announces Takeover Offer For Germany’s Largest Private Digital Lottery Broker Lotto24 AGReading Time: 5 minutes

 

  • The transaction will create a digital lottery group with currently more than 5 million combined customers globally, current combined billings of about EUR 500 million, and a diverse international footprint
  • The combined group will build on the existing position of Lotto24, discontinue the German secondary lottery business of Tipp24 and transform it to a locally licensed online broker. The companies jointly aim to accelerate growth of online brokerage in the EUR 8.7 billion German lottery market
  • The all-share takeover delivers significant benefits for shareholders with expected cost synergies of EUR 57 million per year, strong future cash generation, and a reduced risk profile
  • The transaction strengthens the German lottery market and returns to federal states and their lottery beneficiaries
  • ZEAL expects to offer one new ZEAL share for ca. 1.6 Lotto24 shares, reflecting the ratio of the volume-weighted average prices of ZEAL and Lotto24 shares over the past three months
  • ZEAL has secured irrevocable commitments to accept the offer from major shareholders representing approximately 65% of Lotto24 shares

 

ZEAL Network SE (“ZEAL”) announced an all-share voluntary takeover offer for Germany’s largest private digital lottery broker, Lotto24 AG (“Lotto24”). On completion, the transaction will create a digital lottery group with currently more than 5 million combined customers globally, current combined billings of about EUR 500 million, and a diverse international footprint.

In the context of the deal, and consistent with its renewed strategy to de-risk its business model and focus on locally-licensed businesses, ZEAL intends to transform its German secondary lottery business into a locally licensed online brokerage model after reacquiring control of its myLotto24 and Tipp24 subsidiaries and, in due course, to relocate ZEAL to Germany. The transaction will significantly strengthen the German lottery market and expand returns to federal states and their lottery beneficiaries.

 

A strong platform for accelerated growth and shareholder value creation

The transaction combines the strong balance sheet, high-quality loyal customer base, and technological capabilities of ZEAL with the proven expertise of Lotto24 in the German lottery brokerage market. The enlarged Group will be in a unique position to accelerate online brokerage growth in the German lottery market.

The Group will also continue to pursue its international growth ambitions, building on the existing, diverse international portfolio (UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway, and Netherlands) and global development pipeline of ZEAL, with the aim of creating long-term growth and sustained shareholder and customer value.

ZEAL believes that the change to its business model in Germany will deliver significant benefits to ZEAL shareholders in the medium term as a result of reduced operational, tax and regulatory risk as well as improved growth potential. As part of the business model change, ZEAL has taken the decision to discontinue certain products and to focus on less volatile brokerage income in the German market, resulting in net annual run-rate revenue dis-synergies of ca. EUR 107 million, which is expected to be compensated for over time through accelerated growth of the enlarged Group. The combination with Lotto24 is also expected to deliver annual run-rate cost synergies of c. EUR 57 million through greater platform efficiencies and significant reductions in other operational costs. Further details of these revenue dis-synergies and cost savings are set out in Appendix A to this announcement.

In addition, ZEAL management has identified further cost savings of approximately EUR 4 million, which do not arise as a consequence of the transaction and sees additional potential future upside.

 

Dr Helmut Becker, CEO of ZEAL, said:“ZEAL will reunite with Germany’s largest digital lottery broker. We will have a significantly enlarged, loyal customer base, strong technology and marketing platforms, and an exceptionally experienced team. Together with our plans to regain control of Tipp24 and transform its German business models, this puts us in an excellent position to accelerate online growth in both the EUR 8.7 billion German lottery market and EUR 270 billion global lottery sector – as a locally-licensed broker, licensed operator, and lottery investor. This transaction is good for shareholders, good for customers, and good for the German federal states and their lottery beneficiaries. We have held initial, constructive conversations with Lotto24 and look forward to further engaging with the management to achieve a successful combination of the businesses. We also look forward to a successful and constructive cooperation with Germany’s state lotteries and invite all shareholders to join us on this journey.”

 

Since its IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2012, Lotto24 has grown rapidly. In 2017, Lotto24 generated billings of EUR 220.7 million and revenues of EUR 25.2 million. In October 2018, Lotto24 upgraded its full year guidance, anticipating billings’ growth of between 38% and 43% for 2018. In the first nine months of 2018, the company increased billings by 43% to EUR 235.9 million, revenues grew almost 50% to EUR 28.1 million, and the total number of registered customers rose by 36% to 2.04 million.

ZEAL has nearly two decades’ experience as an online lottery operator, reseller and investor. In 2017, ZEAL delivered billings of EUR 280.5 million and revenues of EUR 134.3 million. In the first nine months of 2018, billings increased 5% to EUR 212.4 million, revenues rose by 19% to EUR 111.2 million, and the number of new customers grew by 54%, taking the total number of registered customers of the Group to more than 3.5 million.

 

Transaction supported by major Lotto24 shareholders

ZEAL will offer Lotto24 shareholders the opportunity to exchange their Lotto24 shares for shares in ZEAL. The offer consideration will reflect the ratio of the volume-weighted average share prices of both Lotto24 and ZEAL over the past three months before announcement of the transaction. Subject to the final determination of the minimum prices required by law and the final terms set forth in the offer document, ZEAL intends to offer one new ZEAL share as consideration in exchange for each ca. 1.6 tendered shares of Lotto24. Independently of the offer, ZEAL expects to pay an ordinary interim dividend ofEUR 1.00 by year-end 2018.

 

In a clear statement of shareholder support for the deal, ZEAL today entered into irrevocable tender agreements with major shareholders of Lotto24, namely with Günther Group, Working Capital and Jens Schumann. They represent approximately 65% of the shares and voting rights in Lotto24. By entering into the tender agreements, these shareholders have undertaken to tender their shares in Lotto24 into the offer.

 

Jonas Mattsson, Chief Financial Officer of ZEAL“We believe this deal creates significant value for ZEAL and Lotto24 shareholders. The future growth prospects, significant reduction of regulatory risk and the related uncertainties, and EUR 57 million of annual cost synergies make the combined group a highly attractive long-term investment proposition. With our shared history, we are confident of achieving a seamless integration of both companies. Weencourage all holders of Lotto24 and ZEAL shares to follow the major shareholders and take part in the offer.”

 

The offer will be made in accordance with the conditions to be set forth in the offer document, among others a minimum acceptance rate of 50% plus one share of Lotto24. Further details of the offer and its terms, including the acceptance period, will be contained in the offer document. ZEAL expects that the offer document will be published on the website www.zeal-offer.com at the beginning of 2019.

An extraordinary general meeting of ZEAL is expected to be held at the end of December 2018, at which ZEAL will ask its shareholders to approve the offer, including the acquisition of Lotto24 shares from certain members of the Supervisory Board of ZEAL or persons connected with them, and authorise the Executive Board to allot a number of shares as required to fund the offer. As Günther Group has made it a condition to its tender agreement with ZEAL that it will not, as a consequence of the offer, be subject to a legal obligation to make a general offer for the shares in ZEAL which it does not own at that time, ZEAL will furthermore propose a resolution to its shareholders (other than Günther Group and persons acting in concert with Günther Group) to approve the waiver of such obligation granted by the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers. The ZEAL shareholder approvals will be a condition for ZEAL to publish the offer document.

Discussions with the German gambling regulatory body about the future licensing arrangements for the enlarged Group have already been initiated. ZEAL expects to complete the transaction in the first half of 2019.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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Week 50 slot games releases

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Week 50 slot games releasesReading Time: 4 minutes

 

Check out this week’s latest slot releases from across the industry!

 

First up we’re gonna sail to glory in Blueprint Gaming’s Vikings Unleashed Megaways™! Set in the hazardous waters of the North Sea, Blueprint’s latest release sees the fearsome Viking warriors unleash their fury onto the reels, with 117,649 ways to win thanks to the MegaWays™ mechanic, under licence from Big Time Gaming.  “Players will need to be fearless in the face of battle in our latest slots release, Vikings Unleashed Megaways™. – said Jo Purvis, Director of Marketing and Relationships at Blueprint Gaming.

 

 Blueprint Gaming’s Vikings Unleashed Megaways™

 

This week Konami Gaming, Inc. announced the launch of its Concerto Opus cabinet following documented success at trial locations. “Konami has hit the jackpot on the new Opus cabinet. With the large single screen display, the graphics and bonus rounds really provide our players with an exciting experience,” – added Stacey Young, vice president of slot operations at Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

Konami's Big Screen Opus Machine slot

 

 

NetEnt released a super sci-fi slot called: Wild-O-Tron 3000 !Set in a 1960s robot lab, Wild-O-Tron 3000TM is a science fiction-themed video slot that transports players to a time when the genre was popularised. “Packed with cyborgs and transforming robots, Wild-O-Tron 3000 will resonate with sci-fi fans and gamers that love stacks and Wild symbol driven games,” – commented Bryan Upton, NetEnt Director of Game Products.

NetEnt's super sci-fi slot Wild-O-Tron 3000

 

 

We’re gonna explore the Russian folklore with the help of Quickspin in their latest slot: Ivan and the Immortal King! The video slot takes players back into the enchanted past of ancient Russian folklore.

Quickspin - Ivan and the Immortal King slot

 

 

Wazdan’s 19th HTML5 game release of the year, Slot Jam, is packed with fruity goodness. This is another new generation slot from the innovative slots-manufacturer which is attracting the attention of all the top operators and aggregators. Slot Jam showcases Wazdan’s world’s-first Volatility Levels™ that allow players to set the game to a low variance where the game has more frequent but smaller wins.

 Slot Jam from Wazdan

 

 

With Endorphina’s latest releases back to back, they definitely now how to keep us all on our toes. With this latest Lucky Streak 2 release, the ice and snow in these winter days can’t compete with Endorphina’s fire and hot wins! This game is absolutely perfect for those players who prefer easy game mathematics and some juicy and fruitilicous wins.

Lucky Streak 2 slot

 

 

Realistic Games is offering players the chance to explore the enchanted forest with its exciting new slot, Spin Dizzy. Filled with woodland magic including toadstools, pots of gold, and four-leaf clovers, the game promises to keep players spellbound with its mysterious features.

Realistic Games Spin Dizzy slot

 

 

Microgaming takes players to a world filled with magic and enchanted riches with Book of Oz slot! Brimming with fantasy, magic and adventure, the game welcomes players into a world filled with enchanted riches. Featuring Wilds, Scatters, Free Spins and Re-Spins, the fantasy themed slot encompasses whimsical art and captivating symbols. “We are extremely excited to release Book of Oz, our fifth game this year under the Triple Edge Studios brand. This has been the most fun we’ve had developing a game and the Re-spin feature is a brilliantly fun addition.” – explained Brendan Walton, Design Lead at Triple Edge Studios.

Microgaming's Book of Oz

 

 

Blockchain casino platform provider FunFair Technologies, is setting sail on the high seas in search of pirate plunder with the release of its newest title Bounty on the High Seas. Bounty on the High Seas sits alongside FunFair’s growing portfolio of smart-contract based games, including Fate of Thrones and Treasures From the Crypto, offering the same high-spec animation, mechanics and audio that players have come to expect from a FunFair title.

 FunFair's Bounty on the High Seas

 

Bgaming will make slot players smile broadly with their slot release: Bob’s coffee shop! The idea of the slot totally inspired by the famous Amsterdam coffeeshops, if you have ever been to Amsterdam and it’s your favorite place in the world, Bob’s Coffee shop will definitely be the “love at first sight”. The game runs on an HTML framework, supports cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.

Bgaming-Bob’s coffee shop

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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Online sports betting legalized in Brazil

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Online sports betting legalized in BrazilReading Time: 1 minute

 

In a significant development in South America, the continent’s largest country Brazil has passed a bill to legalize sports betting in the country. President of Brazil Michel Temer passed Bill MP 846/2018  to effect income redistribution from federal lotteries and legalize online sports betting.

The new bill will offer directions on how to divide the revenues from lotteries among the Culture, Sports and Security portfolios.

It should be noted that the bill observes a two-year term for the Ministry of Finance to regulate the conditions needed for the exploitation of online sports betting through licenses, and estimates that the annual collection reaches USD 255M for Public Safety, USD 161M for Sports and USD 113M for Culture.

For several analysts, the approval of this law represents a great victory for the sector and a possible first step for the regulation of all types of games of chance. Currently, two projects are waiting to be analyzed by Congress; although the new authorities headed by the elect president Jair Bolsonaro do not seem to be particularly predisposed to a wider opening of the game in the country.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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GAN plc: New Jersey’s online gambling revenue rises in November

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GAN plc: New Jersey’s online gambling revenue rises in NovemberReading Time: 1 minute

 

GAN plc, an award-winning developer and supplier of enterprise-level B2B Internet gaming software, services and online gaming content in the United States, updated the market following the publication on December 12, 2018 by the New Jerseys Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) of Internet gaming and Internet sports betting financial information for the calendar month of November 2018 in New Jersey.

According to the latest financial report of the New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement,  online gaming win for November in was $26.9 million in November, which represents a 30.7% hike year-on-year.

The total revenue from internet sports wagering was about $238.6 million for the month of November 2018, a rise of 36.8% from from the previous month.

Sports wagering gross revenue was $21.2 million, $11.7 million more than the previous month’s revenue.

GAN is a leading business-to-business (B2B) supplier of internet gambling software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS) to the US land-based casino industry. The Company has developed a proprietary internet gambling enterprise software system, GameSTACK„¢, which it licenses principally to land-based US casino operators as a turnkey technology solution for regulated real-money internet gambling, encompassing internet gaming, internet sports gaming and virtual Simulated Gaming.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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