SBC News 888 sells US B2C assets to Hard Rock Digital

888 sells US B2C assets to Hard Rock Digital

888 Holdings has confirmed its strategic exit from the US market, selling all associated B2C assets to Hard Rock Digital (HRD).

In March, 888 notified investors that it had initiated a strategic review of its US B2C business, “considering all available options”.

The decision saw 888 announce that it had mutually agreed to terminate its Sports Illustrated (SI) Sportsbook and Casino joint venture partnership with North American partner Authentic Brands Group.

The SI Sportsbook and Casino JV was initiated back in 2021, launching in the state of Colorado, and was later expanded to the states of Michigan, Colorado, and New Jersey.

Upon terminating the SI partnership, 888 will pay Authentic Brands a fee of $25m from available resources. A further $25m will be paid by 888 over the period of 2027-2029.

Divesting its US assets to Hard Rock Digital, 888 expects to incur one-off cash costs of approximately GBP 40 million. Expenditure relating to the US exit will also include the brand license termination fee already announced, with such payments occurring from 2024 until 2029.

This week, 888 published its full-year 2023 accounts, in which the London Stock Exchange (LSE) listed gambling group reported corporate losses of  £56 million.

In 2024, 888 is set to operate under its ‘Value Creation Plan‘ (VCP) – a new corporate strategy devised by new CEO Per Widerström aimed at improving performance, profitability, and reducing debt holdings.

Key directives will see 888’s new leadership team propose a corporate rebrand to Evoke Plc at the firm’s upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Exiting the US market, 888 will maintain its key focus on the ‘core markets of the UK, Denmark, Italy, and Spain’, while evaluating commercial opportunities in other under-represented markets.

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