Playtech Plc has confirmed news reports that it has entered discussions to acquire SKSMalta, the operating firm of Italian bookmaker PlanetWin365.
This afternoon, Sky News reported Playtech and FTSE counterpart Flutter Entertainment as suitors to acquire PlanetWin365 outright.
Italy is recognised as a key growth marketplace for both companies that have established their presence in the country via M&A.
In 2018, Playtech acquired Italian online gambling group Snaitech for €900m in a move to accelerate the technology group’s B2C strategy.
Meanwhile, in 2022 Flutter finalised its €1.9bn acquisition of Sisal, the operator of Italy’s SuperEnalotto lottery and TotoCalcio football pools.
According to Sky News “City sources said the auction was expected to fetch in the region of £500m, and potentially as much as £600m.”
Confirming news reports, Playtech cited: “Following the recent media speculation, Playtech confirms that the Group is currently participating in a process regarding the potential acquisition of SKS365 Malta Holdings Limited.
“Playtech is aware that there are other parties who are also participating in the Process and who have expressed an interest in acquiring SKS. There can be no certainty that Playtech will be successful in the Process nor that any transaction regarding the potential acquisition of SKS will be agreed.”
The acquisition of SKS would see Playtech become the Italian market’s outright biggest B2C operator merging PlanetWin365’s +1,000 retail betting shops with Snaitech’s 2000 betting points and +1,500 gaming concessions.
H1 trading saw Playtech underline the importance of enlarging the Snaitech business which generated €488m in revenues, reflecting circa 55% of interim revenues totalling €860m.
A week of M&A activity saw Flutter continue to expand its International unit by announcing it had purchased a 51% stake in Serbian bookmaker MaxBet for €141m.
Positive developments appear in the Italian market as the Meloni government has initiated an overhaul of laws governing the gambling sector in order to settle long-running disputes on licensing, taxation and requirements to operate land-based venues.