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GVC To Buy 51% Stake In Crystalbet For EUR 41.3 Mln; Committed To Buy Rest

GVC Holdings plc. (GVC.L), a sports betting and gaming group, announced Monday that it has agreed to initially acquire 51% of the equity capital of Mars LLC, known as Crystalbet, an online gaming operator in the Republic of Georgia. The consideration is 41.3 million euros, plus a working capital adjustment, to be satisfied all in cash from existing GVC resources.

Completion is not subject to regulatory approval and is expected to occur by the end of March 2018.

The company has a commitment to acquire the remaining 49% in 2021.

The operational management team at Crystalbet, led by CEO Koba Giglemiani, will all remain with Crystalbet and retain their full equity shareholdings in Crystalbet following the initial acquisition.

Crystalbet was launched in 2011 and holds licences to offer online gaming products, including sports betting, casino games, poker and peer-to-peer games. According to GVC, Crystalbet is the largest online sportsbook, and the second largest online gaming brand overall, in the Republic of Georgia. For 2017, Crystalbet revenues were 34 million euros, with EBITDA of 12 million euros.

With the acquisition, GVC expects that it can further enhance Crystalbet's profitability and position in the Georgian online gaming market by leveraging the wider Group's extensive portfolio of games content, CRM, digital marketing capabilities and purchasing power.

Kenneth Alexander, CEO, said the acquisition is in line with its stated strategy of being a truly global player, with a focus on regulated/regulating markets.

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