London, England - JPJ Group, formerly known as Jackpotjoy, has entered into a conditional agreement, which will have them paying £490 million to acquire the majority of Gamesys Holdings Ltd.
The deal will have JPJ owning 69% of Gamesys Holdings, while other shareholders will maintain ownership of 31% of the new group. JPJ will now own not only the Gamesys platform, but also their bingo content studio and their B2C gaming sites, including Heart Bingo, Monopoly Casino, and Virgin Games. JPJ will also have major ownership of the New Jersey-licensed Virgin Casino, which Gamesys operates in partnership with Tropicana.
Sports betting business Virgin Bet, sports data and media business Livescore, non-bingo games studios owned by Gamesys, Gamesys equity investments in a U.S. sports betting business as well as a Norwegian games studio, and a number of subsidiaries are not included in the JPJ acquisition. Gamesys will therefore have to do some restructuring in order to separate the assets and businesses they will sell from the ones they will retain.
This isn’t the first time that JPJ has done business with Gamesys, as they also acquired the Jackpotjoy brands from Gamesys in 2015. Since then, Gamesys has continually provided JPJ with iGaming content, operational support, and its technology platform. With this most recent deal in place, JPJ will now own the technology platform and Gamesys operations, thereby significantly reducing their reliance on third party providers.
JPJ Executive Chairman Neil Goulden has said, “This acquisition marks an important transformational step in JPJ’s growth, providing significant benefits for shareholders, employees, and customers. For shareholders, we expect the acquisition to deliver earning accretion in the first full financial year of ownership, while our employees will benefit from the combination of two companies with a strong commitment to responsible gaming and where the greater scale will further enhance our product development and technology capabilities.”
Gamesys Chief Executive Lee Fenton will become CEO of the new business entity, which is expected to be known as the Enlarged Group. Gamesys Chief Operating Officer Robeson Reeves will retain his role in the new and enhanced group. Goulden and JPJ Finance Chief Keith Laslop will also retain their current roles.
Fenton has this to say about recent developments: “I am very excited to join the Enlarged Group as CEO. This is a strategically important transaction that adds scale and combines complementary capabilities as the competitive and regulatory environment continue to evolve. The Enlarged Group’s combined brand portfolio, strategically aligned operating structure, technology capabilities, and exceptional combined talent base will create significant opportunities for growth in the market.”
As soon as the deal is completed, JPJ will shell out £240 million in cash. They will then pay a further £10 million to Gamesys shareholders 30 months after the completion of the deal. They will also issue new shares with a total value of approximately £240 million to Gamesys shareholders. As it is subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition isn’t expected to be completed until sometime during the third quarter of this year.