888 to realise ‘exciting long-term potential in the US’ with $28m acquisition
Online casino and gaming business 888 is acquiring the All American Poker Network (AAPN) in full as part of an eight-figure deal.
The firm’s US subsidiaries will pay $28m (c.£22.3m) to purchase the remaining 53% interest they do not already own from Avenue OLG Entertainment LLC and other minority shareholders.
The AAPN is a joint venture set up in 2013 between Avenue and 888 to launch the latter’s B2C brands in the US online gaming market. Since November of that year, the firm’s 888poker and 888casino brands have operated in New Jersey.
The $28m will be satisfied all in cash, with $10m to be paid to the sellers around now and the remaining $18m by March 31 2019.
According to 888, the deal will give it independent control of its growth strategy in the US, which includes signing new partnerships and deploying its gaming brands in additional states.
Itai Frieberger, 888 chief executive, said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
Speaking further, Mr Freiberger said the AAPN joint venture has been “a very successful endeavour” for 888, affording “the flexibility and financial capability to build a position in the regulated US market over the last five years”.
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