Flutter Entertainment Completes Takeover of Sisal Group
Based in Ireland, Flutter Entertainment is the company behind some of the biggest online betting brands in the European market. Names like Paddy Power, Betfair, and Sky Bet are already well known to online gamblers in Europe and beyond, dominating the market and handling millions of dollars’ worth of transactions every day. Now, Flutter has added another property to their roster – the Sisal Group.
The Sisal brand may not be quite so recognizable to UK-based online betters as Paddy Power or Betfair, but this is a major deal for Flutter, and the group is one of the leaders in its native Italy. Sisal is projected to post before-tax earnings of US$246.6 million in 2022, and the deal itself is worth around US$1.9 billion.
The move provides greater access to the Italian market for Flutter Entertainment – a market that generates a gross revenue of around US$18.9 billion each year, and is the second largest for online gambling in Europe. However, the country’s online sports gambling and casino gambling markets are already awash with products, so strong branding is required to achieve success in Italy.
Flutter will be hoping that the acquisition of Milan-based Sisal will help them to achieve this strength and establish themselves more fully with the nation’s wagering consumers. Only the UK is ahead of Italy in terms of online gambling revenue in Europe, and Flutter’s products are already among the leading brands in this market. The latest acquisition will support Flutter’s growth strategy as they exert more dominance on the broader market across the continent.
A Significant Deal for Both Parties
It has taken more than half a year to complete the acquisition, which was first announced back in December 2021. Even this announcement alone seemed to be enough to drive significant revenue growth for Sisal – the group of companies has posted 58% year-on-year increases in revenue projections, and a 51% increase in before-tax earnings, with further rises expected.
As well as online casino and sports betting, Sisal Group is a major player in a number of national lottery programs across Europe and North Africa. It holds an operating license for the national lottery in its home country of Italy, and also holds similar licenses in Turkey and in Morocco. The group also applied for a national lottery license in the UK, but was ultimately unsuccessful in this bid.
The deal with Flutter Entertainment represents a new chapter in the ongoing development of Sisal Group, and the group’s management was excited about the next steps following the acquisition.
“We are delighted to join Flutter and are convinced that through its scale and operational capabilities,” Sisal’s Chief Executive, Francesco Durante, said, “we will be able to further strengthen our leadership in the markets we operate in.”
The team behind Flutter is similarly optimistic, not least because of Sisal’s large existing customer base and the proven strength of its leadership personnel.
“I am delighted to add Sisal, Italy’s leading gaming brand, to the Group as we look to attain a gold medal position in the Italian market,” said Peter Jackson, Flutter’s chief executive. “For some time we have wanted to pursue this market opportunity via an omni-channel strategy and this acquisition will ideally position us to do so.”