FDJ closes €380m PLI deal to begin Irish journey

Groupe FDJ has finalised its €380m acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), a transformative deal that will see the Paris Euronext lottery group take stewardship of the Irish National Lottery. 

This morning, FDJ announced that it had acquired 100% of PLI share capital, taking control of the exclusive rights to operate the Irish National Lottery until 2034.

 As declared on 28 July, the acquisition of PLI marks FDJ’s launch of its ‘new international growth strategy’, helping expand the group’s B2C profile beyond the French market. 

The sale of PLI was agreed by majority shareholder the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTTP), which will now close 2023 having divested from all investments in European lotteries. 

Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ, announced: “FDJ is opening a new chapter in its history by realizing its ambition to expand its international presence as a lottery and online gaming operator.

 “The synergies between FDJ and Premier Lotteries Ireland will rely on our respective and recognized expertise to market to the Irish public a recreational and responsible gaming offer.”

Post-acquisition, FDJ will move to overhaul PLI’s lottery systems and revamp its 5,300 points of sale (POS) network.  

Core synergies will focus on improving PLI commercial operations for its 200 employees and enhancing the Irish National Lottery’s online offering – in which FDJ highlighted that “digital sales make up 15% of PLI’s total stakes”, noted as an area for improvement.

 A strategic plan has been developed to boost PLI’s growth and profitability, leveraging FDJ’s experience to enhance the instant game portfolio and attract more players online, by improving digital experiences for customers.

Starting from Q4 trading, PLI accounts will be consolidated into FDJ’s wider group financial reporting. In 2022, PLI achieved gross gaming revenue of €399m and a net income of €140mm, with an EBITDA margin that aligns with FDJ’s current financial performance.

Andrew Algeo, who will continue as CEO of PLI, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with FDJ, anticipating positive impacts for the Irish national lottery and its stakeholders.

 “FDJ’s support opens an exciting new chapter in PLI’s history, which will benefit the Irish national lottery and its many stakeholders,” Algeo commented.   

“I am grateful to our shareholders Ontario Teachers’ and An Post for their support, which has enabled the national lottery to experience sustained and durable growth. 

“The PLI team is looking forward to partnering with FDJ for an even more successful Irish national lottery and to contribute to FDJ’s international expansion in the lottery sector.”

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