Published: April 16, 2023

Italian gambling group Lottomatica bets on IPO by end-Apri

MILAN, April 13 (Reuters) - Italian gambling group Lottomatica said on Thursday it aimed to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in Milan by the end of April, with the proceeds largely earmarked to reduce debt.

Lottomatica, which is owned by Apollo Global Management (APO.N), said that the IPO would consist of new and existing shares and the gross proceeds from the new shares will amount to 425 million euros ($467 million).

The number of shares to be sold by Apollo has yet to be determined, Lottomatica said in a statement.

A source said in January that Lottomatica was looking to raise at least 1 billion euros in the IPO.

Last month's stock market sell-off triggered by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank forced some companies to delay their flotation plans. But European equity markets have since recovered most of their losses.

Lottomatica offers gambling on sports and other events both online and in retail outlets, as well as operating a network of gaming machines in premises across Italy.

The group said its adjusted core profit rose to around 155-156 million euros in the first quarter, a 15-16% increase on a pro-forma basis including the acquisition of Italian remote gaming company Betflag which was completed in November.

JP Morgan equity research seen by Reuters lists Lottomatica's listed peers operating in the Italian market as Britain's Flutter (FLTRF.L), Entain (ENT.L), Playtech (PTEC.L) and 888 Holding (888.L), which all have a more global exposure.

Flutter bought Italian gaming operator Sisal for 1.62 billion pounds last year, which was an enterprise value equal to 7.7 times its 2021 core profit, BNP Paribas Exane research says.

Lottomatica said it is aiming to deliver a mid-point core profit of 560 million euros this year.

Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UniCredit are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on Lottomatica's IPO.

Apollo Capital Solutions, Banca Akros, BNP Paribas and Mediobanca are joint bookrunners and Equita SIM is acting as co-manager. Credit Suisse is acting as financial adviser.

($1 = 0.9106 euros)

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