Playtech and Flutter Battling It Out in £500M Bidding War for Italian Gambling Group

  • Italian gaming group Lottomatica is also supposedly an interested party
  • Both companies already have operations up and running in Italy
  • Flutter and Playtech are no strangers to mergers and acquisitions
Auctioneer banging gavel
Flutter Entertainment and Playtech are both vying to takeover Italian gaming group PlanetWin365 for about £500m ($610m). [Image:]

Plenty of competition

Playtech and Flutter Entertainment are both in the race to acquire Italian gambling group PlanetWin365. The auction is heating up, with the current bids said to be in the region of £500m ($610m). Sky News reported that both companies have officially submitted offers for PlanetWin parent company SKS365 Malta Holdings.

the final price could rise to as high as £600m ($732m)

The current estimates are that the final price could rise to as high as £600m ($732m) and Italian gaming group Lottomatica is also supposedly interested. Financial services firm Lazards is in charge of carrying out the auction process.

While Flutter has not publicly commented on its interest in PlanetWin365, Playtech confirmed that it is “currently participating in a process regarding the potential acquisition of SKS365 Malta Holdings Limited.” The company acknowledged that other companies have an interest, as well, so there is no guarantee that it will be the successful bidder.

A key growth market

Playtech and Flutter each have operations in the Italian market. It is seen as a market with tremendous growth potential and both firms have made inroads into it through acquisitions. Playtech purchased Italian-focused online gambling operator Snaitech in 2018 for €900m ($952m), while Flutter took over the TotoCalcio football pools and SuperEnalotto lottery from Sisal in 2022 for €1.9bn ($2bn).

Planetwin365 caters to customers both online and through about 1,000 retail sportsbooks.

If Playtech is successful with its bid, it would become the largest outright operator in the nation, already having about 2,000 betting points and over 1,500 gaming concessions. Snaitech accounted for about €488m ($516m) of Playtech’s €860m ($910m) in total revenue for the first six months of 2023.

Making moves

Flutter Entertainment has never been shy in making acquisitions. Just a few days ago it revealed it is buying a controlling stake in Serbian gaming group MaxBet for about €141m ($149m). The FanDuel owner is also in the process of transferring its primary stock market listing from London to New York.

The current Italian government has been transforming the country’s gaming laws which it hopes will resolve ongoing disputes regarding land-based taxation and licensing requirements.

Playtech itself was a target for a takeover last year, with shareholders ultimately rejecting a $3.7bn offer from Aristocrat Leisure. Fewer than 55% of votes were in favor of the deal, well below the 75% necessary for approval.

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