German Online Gambling Firm Tipico On the Block

Published Wednesday, April 13, 2016 -
German Online Gambling Firm Tipico On the Block

German sports betting operator Tipico reportedly made it known back in October of 2015 that it had enlisted the professional help of J.P. Morgan and Rothschild to find suitable candidates for acquisition of the company. Tipico is an international provider of sports betting and casino games and is based in Saint Julian's Malta. The firm has branches in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Gibraltar and Colombia and was founded in 2004.

Tipico is one of seven companies, which according to the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Interior, has been issued a license for sports betting in the initial assignment of those licences.  In 2012 Tipico accepted about 790 million bets.

As new European rules drive a new rash of mergers and acquisitions in the online-gambling industry it has been rumoured the company may be on the block for a possible €1 billion to €1.5 billion. The new rules from the European Commission suggest that Tipico may be currently operating in a legal gray zone due to the persistent condemnation by the European Union that Germany is not allowing free e-commerce among its members.          

Now buyout group Centerbridge has joined with telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom to bid for Tipico as the selling of Germany's largest private sports betting group concludes. Reuters news reported that Centerbridge would buy the majority of Tipico with the final bids for the company due at the end of next week. Centerbridge Partners is a multi-strategy private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts and distressed securities. The firm manages over $25 billion of assets and is based in New York City, with an additional office in London U.K.

Other bidders have been suggested such as private equity group CVC which is expected to hand in a competitive offer. A source offered a comment,  "CVC could reap synergies by combining Tipico with online betting group Sky Bet, which it bought in late 2014, and may therefore be able to make the highest offer," Sky still holds a 20 percent stake in Sky Bet.


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