GVC Holdings, the giant online gambling firm, has said that after the recent acquisition of the British bookmaker, Ladbrokes Coral, it will not be seeking any more purchases in the UK gambling industry. The group has not ruled out, however, M&A deals outside the borders of the country.
Speaking to Reuters, the chief executive officer of GVC, Kenneth Alexander, said that he expects that there may be more deals in the next 12 to 18 months in the United Kingdom as merger activity increases.
"We bought Ladbrokes Coral and we are done for the UK," said Alexander. "Ladbrokes is what we wanted, we got them and we are the biggest in the UK when the deal closes so we don't anything more here."
Booming Revenues for GVC in 2017
The comments about GVC's activities in the UK gambling market comes as the group announced its 2017 revenues and earnings. Business continues to boom for the group as it heads to the final stages of its £4 billion takeover deal of Ladbrokes Coral.
What really helped push the FTSE 250 company, however, was its £1.1 billion merger deal with Bwin.Party in 2015. The success of that deal contributed significantly to GVC's recently reported strong trading, and the effects are still being seen in the numbers.
Net Gaming Revenue Up 17%
GVC Holdings reported that its full year net gaming revenue climbed 17%. Translated to numbers, these were €925.6 million in the 12 months up to December 31st, 2017 – up from €794.3 million a year earlier.
Kenneth Alexander said that "GVC achieved a significant amount in 2017 and as these numbers demonstrate, we have delivered material value from the bwin.party acquisition."
GVC 2017 Report Highlights
Some of the highlights of the GVC 2017 financial report were as follows:
GVC's sports division saw a 19% increase in net gaming revenue up to €331.2 million.
The total wager amount on sports betting was up 2%, despite a tough Euro 2016 football tournament.
Clean underlying earnings (EBITDA) climbed to €239.5 million.
Debt narrowed from €126.1 million to €108.6 million.
Dividend was lifted to €0.34 each – an increase from last year's €.30.
Shareholders Give Green Light to Ladbrokes Acquisition
GVC recently moved into the final stage of the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral after the shareholders of both companies gave their blessing to the deal.
The CEO of JVC Holdings said that the deal with Ladbrokes "represents an exciting opportunity, bringing together industry leading online and retail brands."
"Our core markets offer attractive growth prospects but we also recognize the opportunity presented by our proprietary technology to create significant synergies through M&A," added Alexander.
With plans to look beyond the UK's borders for business opportunities, GVC Holdings has already announced that it is set to buy a majority stake (51%) in Mars LLC (trading as Crystalbet), an online gambling company in Georgia. The company has plans to buy the remaining stake in Mars LLC in 3 years time.