NYX Gaming Cements OpenBet Acquisition While Denying Playtech’s Monopoly
After much speculation and rumors, NYX Gaming have pulled off the acquisition of digital gaming supplier OpenBet for £270 million. NYX Gaming came up with the winning bid with the help of £80m from William Hill and an additional £20 million from Sky Betting & Gaming.
This acquisition is a major coup for William Hill who can only be too happy to have ensured that their arch rival Playtech did not acquire OpenBet. Playtech were amongst the leading bidders for the acquisition of OpenBet as they had plenty of cash to throw around.
William Hill’s investment will mean they hold a 10% stake in NYX Gaming while Sky Betting & Gaming will control 5%. The deal itself controversial as OpenBet power rivals of William Hill like Paddy Power Betfair and Coral.
NYX CEO Matt Davwey went out of his way to assure those asking that OpenBet would maintain its independence and this aspect was key to the deal being signed. He also pointed out that neither William Hill nor Sky Betting & Gaming would be granted a seat on its board of directors. Of course cynics would say that this move only brings a merger closer between William Hill and Sky Betting & Gaming. This seems to be the way the UK gaming market it headed with Paddy Power and Betfair and Ladbrokes and Coral already going down this route.
According to OpenBet CEO Jeremy Thompson,” The joining of OpenBet and NYX is a natural union born out of synergies in product, the customer base and, importantly, culture. It will enable us to leverage our knowledge, strengths and resources to deliver our customers with best-in-class products and technologies across all verticals and channels.”
The interesting part of the deal is what the existing OpenBet customers said and did not say. Ladbrokes and Coral were noticeably silent on the news of the acquisition while Paddy Power BetFair did have some mildly positive comment from their side.
William Hill certainly seems to be the major winner in this deal as they get to have a major sports betting platform provider and join the merger club. Robin Chhabra, Group Director of Strategy & Corporate Development at William Hill commented: “I am delighted that William Hill is supporting NYX’s vision for growth and expansion into sports betting alongside its strong gaming proposition. Our investment in NYX builds on our long standing relationship with both NYX and OpenBet.”