Unibet plc in Aussie Online Gambling Drive


New acquisition deal to open up the way to Australian market

A new agreement, second in a regulated market, has been signed by the European online betting group Unibet plc based on which it has acquired 100 percent of Betchoice Corporation Pty Ltd, which stands as one of Australia's leading independent corporate internet bookmakers.

Betchoice is very popular in Australia, as it offers a whole variety of sports and racing betting products on its website. The company was acquired for a consideration of A$ 20.0 million (GBP 13.6 million), on a cash free and debt free basis, payable in cash on closing.

The acquisition move has been assessed by a Unibet spokesman as a very favorable one, as it will enable the group to enter the fast-expanding Australian online market. He also said that it is 'a solid platform from which to invest further and gain market share. It also positioned Unibet favourably for the anticipated opening of live betting products in Australia at some point in the future, and provides Unibet with horse racing capability which can be leveraged further across the group.'

In addition, the acquisition also brought a benefit for Mark Morrissey, founder, chairman and 38 percent shareholder of the company, who will remain with the company, after the deal is completed.

It's now only up to the Northern Territory Racing Commission whose approval is needed to finalize the transaction, which is expected to happen before the end of the second quarter of 2012. When it does, Betchoice will go through extensive rebranding, and it will see lots of investments, as Unibet plans to reinforce its brand in the market and will therefore expand its Australian product portfolio and marketing.

In addition, Betchoice, which now employs some 35 people in Australia, will see the wider sports product range and risk management techniques within Kambi, Unibet's B2B Sportsbook division, applied to its offering, whereas in return, Kambi will integrate Betchoice's racing product into its portfolio.

It has been stated by Henrik Tjärnström, CEO Unibet that 'Betchoice already has a strong offering and market position in horse racing and through Kambi, Unibet has the opportunity to enhance the quality and performance of Betchoice's sports betting offering and so to deliver revenue growth and margin improvements.

"The acquisition of Betchoice will provide Unibet with a platform to facilitate other gambling services and opportunities should market conditions continue to improve.'

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