M&A: Française des Jeux expands globally with acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland

Lea Hogg 6 months ago
M&A: Française des Jeux expands globally with acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland

Française des Jeux (FDJ) has successfully concluded the acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), the operator of the Irish national lottery. This strategic partnership, valued at €350 million, marks FDJ’s first attempt to operate a foreign lottery, aligning with the company’s ambitious vision of becoming an international B2C operator in the fields of lottery, sports betting and iGaming.

Collaborating with PLI, FDJ is in the process of formulating a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at bolstering the profitability of their newly acquired business. The plan seeks to leverage the best practices of both entities will expand PLI’s portfolio with instant games, the growth of the draw games player base and the enhancement of the company’s digital offerings.

Strategic alliance for enhanced profitability

FDJ’s Chairman and CEO, Stéphane Pallez, expressed the significance of this milestone, stating, “Française des Jeux is opening a new chapter in its history by realizing its ambition to develop its international presence as a lottery and online gaming operator. The synergies between FDJ and Premier Lotteries Ireland will draw on our respective and recognized expertise to market a recreational and responsible gaming offering to the general Irish public.”

The PLI acquisition, initially announced in July, saw FDJ secure ownership from a consortium led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, with the involvement of Irish post office An Post and the An Post Pension Fund. Under a 20-year contract awarded in 2014, PLI holds exclusive rights to operate the Irish National Lottery until November 2034. Currently, PLI offers a diverse catalog of 40 games available at 5,300 retail points of sale.

Draw games represent two-thirds of PLI’s stakes, while instant games constitute the remaining third. PLI reported a commendable €399 million in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the year 2022, reinforcing the potential of this strategic venture.

Pursuing international expansion in lottery, sports betting and iGaming

Andrew Algeo, Managing Director of PLI, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying, “FDJ’s support opens an exciting new chapter in PLI’s history, which will benefit the Irish National Lottery and its many stakeholders. I am grateful to our shareholders Ontario Teachers’ and An Post for their support, which has enabled the National Lottery to experience sustained and sustainable growth. The PLI team looks forward to partnering with FDJ for an even better Irish National Lottery and contributing to FDJ’s international expansion in the lottery sector.”

This acquisition marks the latest addition to FDJ’s series of strategic moves this year. In October, the company successfully completed the €175 million acquisition of ZEturf, a prominent French horse racing betting operator. The deal, which garnered approval from the French competition authority, solidified FDJ’s position in the online horse racing sector, further diversifying their online offerings.

CEO Pallez reflected on the expansion, noting, “Following the launch of our poker business, our entry into the world of online horse-race betting rounds out our diversified online range and bolsters FDJ Group’s growth prospects while remaining aligned with our responsible gaming model.” With these developments, FDJ is firmly positioned for future growth and expansion in the dynamic landscape of B2B gaming.

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