Blackstone confirms acquisition of Grupo Cirsa

Manuel Lao Hernandez

US multinational private equity firm Blackstone Group has expanded its industry portfolio acquiring Spanish gambling operator Grupo Cirsa and its related assets.

Deal stakeholders have chosen not to disclose financial terms, however Cirsa advisors have previously stated that the firm’s sale would target a €2 billion valuation.

The Spanish operator’s outright sale has been mooted for a long time by corporate governance. In November 2017, enterprise founder and majority shareholder Manuel Lao Hernandez confirmed to Spanish media that Cirsa had appointed Lazard as its financial advisor to review the operator’s future options.

Founded in 1978, Cirsa operates gaming arcades, bingo halls, retail betting points and lottery terminals in Spain, Italy and South America.

Blackstone is reported to have beaten Apollo Global and Cerebeus Capital Management, in its acquisition of Cirsa assets.

Confirming the acquisition, Blackstone has detailed that Lao Hernandez has stepped down as company chairman to be replaced by long-term Cirsa Chief Executive Joaquim Agut. 

Blackstone gambling/betting industry-centric investments include Paysafe Group, Clarion Events and Grupo Codere.

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