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Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) bets big on Italian Sisal for £1.62bn

By Adrian Holliday

09:19, 23 December 2021

Photo of a Paddy Power retail franchise shopfront with white logo on green background
Flutter Entertainment is the owner of the Paddy Power brand – Photo: Shutterstock

Flutter Entertainment’s share price flapped 3.2% higher in early trading at 116.80p as it revealed it was buying Italian betting and lottery operator Sisal for £1.62bn (€1.92bn) from CVC Capital Partners Fund VI.

Cash buy

Flutter (FLTR), which also controls the Paddy Power and Betfair brands, says Sisal anticipates underlying earnings of €248m in the 12 months to December, with 58% of earnings from online sales. The private equity sale, paid in cash, includes full repayment of all Sisal’s debt. 

Flutter Entertainment (previously called Paddy Power Betfair) says that, after the UK, Italy is the second-largest regulated gambling market in Europe with gross gaming revenues in 2019 of €19bn.

“For some time we have wanted to pursue this market opportunity via an omni-channel strategy and this acquisition will ideally position us to do so,” said Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson.

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16,908.50 Price
-0.760% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0261%
Short position overnight fee 0.0042%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 30.0


4,596.80 Price
+0.710% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 1.7


16,001.20 Price
+0.470% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 7.0


16,454.10 Price
+1.340% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0220%
Short position overnight fee -0.0002%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 8.0

Sisal online opportunity

Jackson says Sisal is growing its online presence – and omni-channel operators, like Sisal, have potential for more retail and online growth.

Italian online penetration rates are below UK and Australia, Flutter says. “The Italian online market is projected to be worth £3.6bn by 2024, equating to [a] forecast five-year compound annual growth of 18%.”

Sisal’s online market share is currently 11.9% but Flutter hopes to reach “circa 20%” over time. The sale is expected to complete by the second quarter of 2022.

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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