888 Acquires remaining 53% interest in All American Poker Network
888 Holdings PLC said on Tuesday it has acquired the remaining 53% interest in the All American Poker Network it does not own for USD28 million in cash.
The FTSE 250-listed gambling websites operator first established AAPN as a joint venture with Avenue OLG Entertainment LLC in 2013 as a platform to launch 888’s business to consumer brands in the US.
888 will pay immediately an initial USD10 million to Avenue OLG and some minority shareholders, with the remaining USD18 million to be paid by March 31, 2019.
The AAPN joint venture was established between Avenue and 888 in March 2013 to launch 888’s B2C brands in the regulated online gaming market in the United States. Since November 2013, the 888poker and 888casino brands have been operating in New Jersey.
The Transaction will give 888 independent control of its growth strategy in the US moving forward. This strategy includes signing new partnerships and continuing to deploy its proprietary products and technology (both B2B and B2C) in new states as they regulate.
Over recent months, 888 has also further strengthened its position in the US Signing a landmark sponsorship agreement with the New York Jets of the National Football League, marking the first such agreement between an NFL team and a pure-play online gaming operator.
Itai Frieberger, Chief Executive of 888 commented: “The acquisition of the remaining stake in AAPN is an important strategic step towards 888 achieving its exciting long-term potential in the US. Taking outright ownership of AAPN gives 888 additional operational, technological and commercial flexibility to develop innovative and exciting new partnerships and launch in new states – through both B2B and B2C channels – as and when future regulation allows. This acquisition places 888 in an even better position to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in the US and create additional value for our shareholders.
The AAPN joint venture has been a very successful endeavour for the Group. It has afforded us the flexibility and financial capability to build a position in the regulated US market over the last five years whilst also investing in other global regulated markets. I would like to thank Avenue Capital for being fantastic partners in this venture since 2013.”