Entain mulls selling PartyPoker subsidiary amid strategic review

Sports betting and gaming group Entain is exploring selling its subsidiary PartyPoker as it looks to keep activist investors at bay by refocusing on its core business. According to a report by Sky News, Entain is working with advisers from Oakvale Capital on a prospective sale of the online poker business.

The report cited unnamed industry sources who stated that the board of Entain targets a £150 million ($191 million) sale of PartyPoker. The sale would seek to raise funds to support Entain’s strategic reorganization, overseen by the firm’s newly appointed Capital Allocation Committee. 

The targeted £150 million is a significant drop from the £5 billion ($6.4 billion) that PartyGaming, PartyPoker’s then parent, was worth on the day of its London flotation in 2005. In recent years, PartyPoker has seen a mass exodus of customers.

Entain has placed all existing units, except US joint-venture BetMGM, under strategic review. Last week, the group revealed its full-year accounts, citing legacy declines for corporate losses of £900 million ($1.15 billion.) 

The company has emphasized a key focus on ensuring growth within key markets, specifically Brazil, the UK, and the US, and also highlighted that short-term H1 trading would be impacted by £40 million ($51 million) costs reserved for regulatory adjustments in the UK and Netherlands.  

Entain is currently being run by interim Chief Executive Stella David, who provided an optimistic outlook that the firm is on the right track to reach targets and return to profitability: “2023 presented a number of challenges for the group, both industry-wide and Entain-specific. I am extremely proud of how our people around the world came together to navigate the business through an eventful and at times difficult year.

Against that backdrop, Entain was still able to deliver overall revenue growth of 14 percent including our US joint venture achieving revenue at the top end of expectations.”

Looking ahead, she stated: “We have started the new financial year with a clear plan to accelerate our operational strategy, and are making pleasing progress across a range of initiatives to re-focus our market portfolio, prioritize organic growth, drive our share in the US, and expand our margins.

We are entirely focused on operational excellence and outstanding execution and, as a result, are confident that we are on a pathway to delivering future growth. We remain confident that our continued focused execution will drive organic growth into 2025 and beyond.”