Entain to access Dutch market through completed $480M acquisition of BetCity

Sports betting and gaming group Entain announced on Thursday the completion of its acquisition of Dutch operator BetCity from Sports Entertainment Media for €450 million ($484.2 million).

The deal grants Entain access to the Dutch regulated market, where BetCity was one of the initial 10 licensees and quickly became a leader after the market launched on October 2021, holding a 20% market share in Q4 of 2021.

Entain’s brands were not able to launch in the Netherlands as part of the initial batch of licensees, due to the country’s “cooling-off” period for operators that accepted Dutch customers before the market opened. While this period ended last year, and Entain had initially expected its legacy brands to receive licenses in 2022, this has not yet happened.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, commented: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of BetCity. The combination of BetCity’s local expertise and strong brand, alongside Entain’s global scale and market-leading platform provides customers with an enriched and broader offering of engaging products, fresh content, and new experiences.”

“This transaction further underpins our growth strategy of operating in and expanding further into, attractive regulated markets. We look forward to working with Melvin and the BetCity team as we execute the significant opportunities in the Dutch market,” she added.

With the deal closing, Entain will pay €300 million ($324.2 million) as an initial consideration. It will then pay a balancing payment “once BetCity’s financial performance for 2022 is confirmed,” and a further contingent payment of 10 times BetCity’s 2023 EBITDA will be made in early 2024. It will then pay a final €50 million ($54 million) “on delivery of synergies and successful migration to the Entain platform.”

Entain expects the total cost of the acquisition to be €450 million ($486.4 million), although depending on performance it could be as high as €850 million ($918.8 million). Corporate advisory specialist Partis helped negotiate the deal.