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Inspired Announces Agreement To Acquire Novomatic UK’s Gaming Technology Group

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Inspired Announces Agreement To Acquire Novomatic UK's Gaming Technology GroupReading Time: 4 minutes

 

Anticipated to Diversify and Broaden Scale and Scope of Inspired’s Footprint and Product Offering

 

Inspired Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Gaming Technology Group (“NTG”) of Novomatic UK Ltd. (“Novomatic UK”), a division of NOVOMATIC GROUP, a leading international supplier of gaming equipment and solutions, for the EUR equivalent of US$120.0 million in cash.

Inspired is a leading supplier of Category B2/B3 gaming terminals in the UK, and NTG is a leading supplier of Category B3, C and D gaming terminals to pubs, arcades, motorway service areas and holiday resorts in the UK.  Following the transaction, Inspired would be positioned to supply an extensive range of products and services across the UK and Europe, and beyond.  Upon closing the acquisition, Inspired would manage more than 75,000 gaming machines in the UK and Europe.

“The potential acquisition of NTG is transformational for Inspired, enabling us to dramatically increase the size, scale and scope of our business by combining our highly complementary, but largely non-overlapping, businesses,” said Lorne Weil, Executive Chairman of Inspired Entertainment. “We expect to leverage our superior game content, technology, operational capabilities and respective footprints to augment the existing growth trends for our enterprise.”

NTG is comprised of the following six companies:

  • Gamestec Leisure – Primarily serving the UK pub sector through the placement of gaming machines on a managed service basis and delivering service support to the bingo and self service betting terminals sectors.
  • Playnation Limited Serving the UK holiday and leisure industry, including holiday parks, motorway service stations, bowling alleys, airports and independent holiday resorts through revenue share arrangements with operators.
  • Astra Games Limited – Gaming machine manufacturer, selling Category B, C and D gaming machines to pubs, adult gaming centers, and holiday resorts.
  • Bell-Fruit Group Limited – Primarily selling Category C machines, both analog and digital, and exporting machines to key European geographies.
  • Harlequin Gaming Limited – Game development studio for Astra and Bell-Fruit.
  • Innov8 Gaming Limited – Gaming machine developer supplying Category B3 and C gaming machines within the NTG and to external customers.

Mr. Weil continued, “Inspired and NTG currently operate in different segments but have much in common in terms of providing resources for our customers and their consumers.  This combination would provide additional resources for our core businesses and combine the great content and machine portfolio from each. We expect to be able to deliver meaningful value to our shareholders as the acquisition is integrated.”

Improved Operating Efficiencies

Inspired expects to achieve $12.3 million to $13.3 million of synergies through shared costs and increased scale. Inspired also expects to be able to make efficient use of shared manufacturing, engineering, software development, field maintenance and customer service to drive growth and cost savings after the transaction closes.  Inspired further expects to reduce capital deployed in the pub gaming sector following the closing of the transaction, as the sector continues its ongoing digital transformation.

Complementary Businesses Leveraging Core Competencies

Inspired plans to draw on the core strengths of Inspired and NTG to broaden offerings, bring differentiated gaming products to new sectors and geographies, accelerate key growth initiatives and offer enhanced capabilities, systems, field service and content.  The addition of NTG is expected to help diversify Inspired’s UK business and expand into contiguous customer segments with very little overlap of existing customers. Inspired’s position and expertise in server based gaming is expected to accelerate NTG’s development initiatives to transition the pub gaming sector from analog to digital gaming machines.

Inspired and NTG are both known for their product innovation and creative content. Together, the companies expect to offer an expansive combined game and machine portfolio to customers. Inspired and NTG are also well positioned to capitalize on further converting NTG’s game library for online deployment.

Transaction Terms and Execution

Inspired has agreed to acquire NTG for the EUR equivalent of US$120 million, subject to certain customary adjustments.  This consideration represents a multiple of approximately 5.5x NTG’s pre-synergy Adjusted EBITDA of £17.1 million, or $21.7 million[2], for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2018, and 3.5x after adjusting for the mid-point of estimated run-rate annual synergies of £9.6 million to £10.6 million, or $12.3 million to $13.3 million, as if they were achieved January 1, 2018.

The acquisition, which is subject to the approvals of regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the third quarter of 2019.  In conjunction with the proposed transaction, Inspired is expected to refinance its existing indebtedness with a new £220 million GBP-equivalent term loan and £20 million revolving credit facility.  Inspired has obtained committed financing for the transaction, and the transaction is not subject to a financing contingency. The committed financing is expected to result in a reduction in cost of debt capital.

“The proposed financing is at a lower interest rate than our existing debt and is a major step in improving Inspired’s capital structure,” said Stewart Baker, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Inspired.  “Pro forma for the acquisition, adjusting for the mid-point of estimated run-rate annual synergies, the proposed financing implies net leverage of 3.0x[3].  It will position us with a stronger balance sheet and extended maturities, while also reducing our cost of capital which we believe will allow us to have more flexibility to capitalize on meaningful opportunities to grow our business.”

Casino Operations

The casino assets of Astra Games Limited are not included in the potential transaction.  At or prior to the closing of the Acquisition, Astra will transfer to Novomatic UK Gaming UK Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NOVOMATIC GROUP, assets to the extent related to its casino operations.

Financial and Legal Advisory

Nomura served as financial advisor to Inspired. Sidley Austin LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP served as legal advisors to Inspired.  Nomura and Macquarie Capital have provided financing commitments to support the transaction.

 

About Inspired Entertainment, Inc.:

Inspired is a global games technology company, supplying Virtual Sports, Mobile Gaming and Server Based Gaming systems with associated terminals and digital content to regulated lottery, betting and gaming operators around the world. Inspired currently operates approximately 35,000 digital gaming terminals and supplies its Virtual Sports products through more than 40,000 retail channels and over 100 websites, in approximately 35 gaming jurisdictions worldwide. Inspired employs more than 650 employees in the UK and elsewhere, developing and operating digital games and networks.

SOURCE Inspired Entertainment, Inc.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Inspired Announces Agreement To Acquire Novomatic UK’s Gaming Technology Group

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BMM Testlabs Announces Record First Half 2019 Financial Results

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BMM Testlabs, the world’s leading gaming testlab and product compliance consultancy, is pleased to announce record first half financial results for 2019.

“Momentum from successive record financial years between 2016 and 2018 has continued into the first half 2019. Importantly, year-on-year actual growth is balanced across revenue, gross margin and EBITDA, reflecting significant investments in people, processes and systems across the business, worldwide,” reported President and CEO Martin Storm.

Storm added, “New growth is being driven by large gaming manufacturers, iGaming B2B and B2C clients and new levels of operational scale achieved from all of our labs around the world. Importantly, quality, velocity and service continues to exceed industry competition and BMM continues to win new business, competitively. BMM now operates in 460 gaming jurisdictions and counts more than 500 customers.”

Storm continued, “After 13 years of engagement, BMM applauds the Illinois legislature’s changes to gaming lab rules allowing for lab competition in Illinois and gaming manufacturer’s choice of the best lab for their product lines.”

BMM is one of only two gaming labs serving gaming manufacturers, regulators and operators throughout the world.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: BMM Testlabs Announces Record First Half 2019 Financial Results

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Mercedes-Benz launches a Russia-based esports campaign together with Publicis Sport & Entertainment and ESforce Holding

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A premium automotive brand Mercedes-Benz announced the start of the Most Valuable Fan campaign aimed at Russian esports fans. As part of the campaign, a national fan competition will take place throughout August, September and October, culminating at a special event in Moscow during ESL One Hamburg 2019 playoffs. Following the outcome of the vote among the esports community and members of the jury, the chosen fan will receive the title of the Most Valuable Fan and a Mercedes-Benz A-Сlass vehicle.

This partnership between Mercedes-Benz, Publicis Sport & Entertainment, and ESforce holding is a continuation of the brand’s devotion to creating unforgettable experiences for both fans and the players. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz became a partner of ESL, founding the Most Valuable Player campaign taking place for the second consecutive year. As per 2019, viewers and members of the expert community have helped award the best ESL tournaments players with 5 automobiles worth a total of €250 000. Virtus.pro (a member of ESforce holding) players have won this award three times: Alexei Solo Berezin was the MVP of ESL One Hamburg 2017, Vladimir RodjER Nikogosyan and Vladimir No[o]ne Minenko became MVPs of ESL One Katowice and ESL One Birmingham in 2018.

“The Russian esports community is among the most engaged and active communities in the world, — says Mercedes-Benz Press Office. — However, the fans’ devotion to their favorite disciplines, teams or tournaments is rarely rewarded. We want to say “thank you” to all the fans who travel long hours to visit their favorite tournaments, meet their favorite teams in airports, prepare banners and touching gifts for their idols, share their hobby with their friends and do everything in their power to help esports grow. We hope that the Most Valuable Fan campaign will help elevate esports fan culture to a new level. We are happy to begin our first esports partnership in Russia with the fans themselves!”

To enter the raffle, one needs to register at http://mbmvf.cybersport.ru website, record a video of 5 minutes or less in which fans would talk about their experience supporting esports, fill in a form, and pass moderation. All citizens of Russia who are 18 or older and have a driver’s license may take part in the contest. With support the fan community and esports celebrity jury consisting of renowned journalists, casters, and fans, the brand will choose three finalists. They will then receive a ticket to the event’s grand finale — a closed award ceremony in Moscow. The event will take place in Yota Arena during ESL One Hamburg 2019 final stage.

“We consider this one of the most important esports projects of the year, its importance for the gaming community and the market as a whole is undeniable. We are certain this campaign will gain a lot of traction on the international market, even though it is being implemented on the territory of Russia. Mercedes expands the horizons and pushes esports to a whole new level. We are happy to be a part of this project. Let the best fan win!” — says Sergey Barkhudaryan, Head of Publicis Sport & Entertainment.

“Mercedes-Benz arrival to the Russian esports market is a clear signal for the community and the industry as a whole. The “Most Valuable Fan” project shows how involved Russian esports audience is on the international level, how much its activity and engagement into their idols’ life is evident on the worldwide scale. We are happy to partner with Mercedes, and we are sure that it is just one step further in a series of large-scale campaigns to reward the fans for their passion for esports, loyalty and compassion to their favorite teams and tournaments,” — says Alexander Kim, ESforce Holding Commercial Director.

More details at http://mbmvf.cybersport.ru.

 

Mercedes-Benz Russia AO is a Russian company, a subsidiary of Daimler Group. Daimler AG (Daimler-Benz AG in 1994) was the first foreign automotive company to establish a subsidiary AOZT Mercedes-Benz Avtomobili in the territory of the Russian Federation on December 8, 1994. Mercedes-Benz Russia AO is the only official importer of Mercedes-Benz cars and vans, as well as smart cars in Russia.

In 2013 the company launched production of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic vans at the GAZ plant in Nizhny Novgorod, as well as diesel engines for them in Yaroslavl. In 2018 the company became the leader in the automotive premium segment in Russia for the sixth time running. On April, 3 2019 the gala opening of the production plant for Mercedes-Benz cars in the Moscow region took place.

2019 is an anniversary year for Mercedes-Benz: the brand celebrates 125 years long brand history in Russia.

Publicis Sport & Entertainment is the sports marketing division of Publicis Groupe, headquartered in London. Unit provides clients with full-service support of the whole Groupe but specializing in the sports industry: from strategy and creativity to media, sponsorship of sports events and licensing. Unit operates in all major international markets and provides its services to major global brands: P&G, Mercedes, Heineken, Samsung, Mondelez, Gazprom Neft, Coty, Duracell, EA, etc. As well as sport right holders: FIFA, NBA, Zenit, Russian Premier League, IOC, etc.

ESforce Holding is one of the world’s largest esports organizations and the leader of electronic sports in Russia. The holding company integrates all key areas of the esports business, from organizing international tournaments and professional content creation to publishing and advertising activities. ESforce owns over 220 popular online resources with a combined audience of 12 million followers and 114 million annual unique visitors, which provide a 90-percent reach to esports broadcast viewers in Russia and the CIS as well as access to a significant share of relevant international audiences. In 2018, the holding became part of the largest technology company in Russia, Mail.Ru Group.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Mercedes-Benz launches a Russia-based esports campaign together with Publicis Sport & Entertainment and ESforce Holding

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Sasebo Chamber of Commerce Confirms Speakers for August 27th Seminar

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The Sasebo Chamber of Commerce / Nagasaki Marine IR Promotion Council have confirmed speakers for their seminar to be held on 27 August (Tuesday) at the Fuji International Hotel located in Sasebo City. Speakers will include Mr. Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors, Dr. Glenn McCartney of the University of Macau and the Irish and European Chambers of Commerce (Macau), and Mr. Niall Murray, President of the Irish Chamber of Commerce (Macau). The seminar is expected to attract between 50 and 100 participants including local businesses from throughout Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture and the Greater Kyushu Region. Presentations will include overviews on how the private sector should begin to formulate engagement plans with IR operators, as well as best practices with regards to how other Chambers of Commerce engage with both IR operators and the local business communities.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Sasebo Chamber of Commerce Confirms Speakers for August 27th Seminar

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