Posted on: October 19, 2022, 10:36h.
Last updated on: October 19, 2022, 10:55h.
Global gaming empire Entain is in full acquisition mode, recently moving to acquire SuperSport Group and BetCity. It’s going to need some help to get across the finish line, though, and has sought significant capital to fulfill its goals.
In order to finance some of its recent acquisition targets, Entain had already received $750 million in the form of a loan. It has now substantially increased the amount, securing $1 billion in a new “first lien term loan.”
The loan will mature in seven years, provided there are no unexpected obstacles along the way. COVID-19 caused a major strain on a number of gaming companies, forcing them to work out new deals with creditors to stay afloat. Not all of them did.
Credit on Top of Credit
In announcing the new loan, Entain, which now has operations in more than 27 countries, explained that it was possible due to increased demand from global credit investors. It also said that the loan will keep it from having to use existing revolving credit options it has available.
Part of the money will go toward the acquisition of Croatia-based SuperSport, which it is purchasing in conjunction with EMMA Capital. Entain is taking a 75% stake in the company, for which it has to pay €690 million (US$675.44 million).
Another part of the loan will help offset the expense of acquiring BetCity, an online gaming operator in the Netherlands. Both of these are key purchases that Entain views as fundamental to its expansion throughout Europe.
Once Entain completes the acquisitions, it will use any remaining money to maximize its liquidity and “provide further balance sheet flexibility,” according to its statement. Financing for the new loan carries a cash cost of 6.2% until next September.
Acquisitions Key to Sustainability
Making significant purchases that require 10-figure loans is the only way to ensure Entain’s sustainability, according to CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen. She made the comment during Wednesday’s Entain Sustain event, where the company discussed its future.
Along with the acquisitions, the company’s sustainability will also need increased customer trust and an eco-friendly footprint, added Nygaard-Andersen. These are targets Entain is already working toward through dedicated internal programs.
To that end, Entain is setting aside about $112.5 million to cover its environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives. These are fundamental for the industry as a whole, she explained, adding that investment trends all point toward ESG as a primary consideration.
When considering investments, around 90% of potential investors consider ESG first, according to Nygaard-Andersen. It’s also important to employment candidates, 25% of whom want to see ESG as a leading endeavor at their potential employer.
The focus on ESG isn’t just the result of an altruistic approach to corporate affairs. Instead, studies have shown that companies with a strong ESG approach typically have a better corporate reputation, which is attractive to investors. In addition, they treat staff better, which is attractive to potential employees.
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