EEG acquires ‘proven challenger’ Bethard for €16m

Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) has secured definitive terms to acquire Malta-based online gambling operator Bethard Group Ltd, as the company continues to expand its European sportsbook profile.

Nasdaq-listed EEG confirmed that it had reached an agreement with Gameday Group – the operating firm of Bethard – to acquire its asset for €16 million ($19.5m) cash and a guarantee of 12% of net gaming revenue performance over a two-year period.

EEG expects to close its Bethard acquisition by the beginning of H2 trading, and has also updated its updated fiscal 2022 revenue guidance to the $100-$105 million range.

Updating investors, EEG stated that it had acquired Europe’s fastest-growing sportsbook challenger brand, which had registered revenues of $31 million during 2020 trading and maintains a growing market share within the lucrative Nordic online gambling markets.

The deal will see EEG expand its current European sportsbook portfolio to three brands, operating Bethard alongside SportNation.com and Vie.bet.

“This is another great addition for Esports Entertainment Group that substantially increases our revenues, and available markets,” commented Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group.

“With this transaction, we expect to gain two new gaming licenses including one in the strategically important Swedish market. At the completion of the licence hand over we will have 6 tier one licences.”

Following the sale of Bethard, Gameday Group management said that it would pursue a sole B2B strategy, with the company offering its services to optimise the performance of white label brands, igaming and sportsbook operators.

Gameday launched the Bethard brand in 2018, with its sportsbook being promoted by Swedish football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic as its global ambassador.

However, Bethard’s relationship with Ibrahimovic stirred controversy, as last month Swedish media reported that the Swedish footballer held a 10% stake in the company, breaking FIFA and UEFA code of ethics on football integrity.

UEFA has launched an investigation of Ibrahimovic’s involvement with Bethard, which carries a maximum punishment of a three-year suspension from professional football, as no registered athlete may directly or indirectly own shares in betting companies.

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