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Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) buys Tombola for $402m

By Angela Barnes

10:05, 18 November 2021

Tombola corporate office at dusk in Sunderland, UK
The purchase of Tombola will help Paddy Power’s owner Flutter diversify its portfolio – Photo: Shutterstock.

Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) has acquired UK bingo operator Tombola for an enterprise value of £402m ($542), it announced on Thursday.

Under the terms of the transaction, Flutter said it will pay in cash upon completion for 100% of the business. The transaction is conditional on merger control clearance by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022.

Delivering on strategy

The owner of Paddy Power said the addition of Tombola to the Flutter portfolio will deliver several key strategic advantages, including the diversification of its portfolio, the addition of an engaged and sustainable player base, an enhancement of Flutter’s online gaming presence in its core UK market, and the addition of further product capabilities and expertise.

Moreover, Flutter said it will align with its safer gambling strategy of expansion in its recreational customer base.

“Tombola, with teams primarily located in Sunderland and Gibraltar, is a successful bingo-led gaming company with an emphasis on providing a low-staking bingo proposition to a highly engaged customer base. Tombola was the first major UK focused operator to introduce both mandatory staking and deposit limits, building a highly sustainable player base over the last 16 years,” Flutter said in its announcement.

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Tombola revenue

Flutter also highlighted that more than 80% of Tombola’s revenue base comes from the UK and 16% comes from Italy and Spain. Moreover, it has an average of around 400,000 monthly players and more than 700 employees.

In its financial year to end April 2021, Tombola generated pro forma revenue of £164m and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £38.5m, the Irish bookmaking holding company said.

“Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play. The brand aligns closely with Flutter’s safer gambling strategy, a key area of focus for us. I am excited to combine Flutter’s digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK and Ireland division,” Peter Jackson, Flutter’s chief executive, said.

Shares in Flutter Entertainment were up 0.86% on Thursday morning on the London Stock Exchange.

Read more: Brent crude falls below on talk of US reserve release

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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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