Apollo Global is reported to be reviewing options on its Lottomatica investment, which may see the heritage Italian gambling group listed on the Borsa Milan.
Bloomberg and local media report that Apollo eyes a “return to Piazza Affari” for Lottomatica, in which it has called on investment banks to price up a €1bn IPO.
A Milan listing would see Apollo exit the Italian gambling market, in which the US PE fund backed Italian gambling group Gamenet’s €1bn acquisition of Lottomatica’s B2C assets, undertaken in 2021.
The acquisition transformed the landscape of Italian gambling, as GameNet took the heritage name of Lottomatica to become the biggest land-based operator.
As such, a new look Lottomatica operates a franchise network of 3,000 betting points, 1,400 gaming halls, 13,600tobacconists/bar gaming machines and 120 gaming venues.
Dealmakers are reportedly seeking a €5bn valuation for Lottomatica (including corporate debt), which will likely become the Borsa Milan’s biggest listing in 2023.
Lottomatica is the former operating steward of Italy’s SuperEnalotto lottery, which merged with US technology group GTECH Inc in 2006 – targeting a position as global gambling’s biggest technology conglomerate.
However, following subsequent M&A deals, in 2020 the board of IGT Plc (formerly GTECH) confirmed that it would begin to divest assets needed to drastically reduce the firm’s corporate debt which stood at approximately $9bn.
Italian gambling continues to wait on the government to publish its new ‘Betting Decree’ on long-awaited reforms needed to update the market.
Italy’s Parliament has been asked to intervene on ongoing disputes with the ADM Customs and Monopolies agency related to licensing renewals and concessions for retail and online gambling.