Owners looking at options for Belgian bookmaker Betfirst Group

Owners looking at options for Belgian bookmaker Betfirst Group

Belgian sports betting firm Betfirst Group is likely to be put up for sale after parent media organisation Sagevas SA asked Rothschild Bank to investigate options for the company.

Sagevas’ investors, driven by founding shareholder IPM group, have agreed to ‘examine the strategic options’ for the bookmaking operation, with a sale to a third party a likely outcome.

Betfirst received Belgium’s first online sports betting operator’s licence in 2012, supplementing its land-based business, and is one of the country’s top three bookmakers along with Unibet and Bwin. 

Investment bank Rothschild has reportedly already met with several interested parties and indicated that there have been no decisions made yet, stressing that there may be an option for Sagevas to open up Betfirst to a larger player without going down the route of a full sale. 

However a source close to the deal suggested that Betfirst’s top 3 position in the market and continued double-digit growth make it a very attractive acquisition prospect, especially given other recent activity in the region such as Superbet’s purchase of Napoleon Games and CVC’s interest in Gaming1.

As well as its online interests, Betfirst has 480 land-based franchise newsagents with its SSBTs, which insulate it from any tightening up of advertising regulations, and achieved 50m euro in Net Gaming Revenue last year, with 25,000 monthly active players. The gambling division has around 50 employees, half of which are based in Malta.

Sagevas has been approached before by firms with an interest in the Betfirst Group, but has rebuffed these overtures until now. 

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