GFED owners going after L&G?


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001

GCTV Games goes after Leisure and Gaming plc

The Vancouver and Dublin based online gambling software developer GCTV Games is apparently going after Leisure and Gaming plc, having acquired the non-US business of Gambling Federation in March of this year (see previous InfoPowa report).

In its six month interim results published this week, L&G confirmed that it has received an indicative offer from CGTV Games Limited, which it described as "a global provider of casino software and slots located in Dublin, Ireland."

The notification cautioned that the approach may or may not lead to a cash offer being made by CGTV to acquire the entire issued share capital of L&G and is subject to a number of pre-conditions, including satisfactory due diligence, all of which are waivable at CGTVs discretion.

In recognition of the time and cost implications of completing due diligence and seeking to satisfy its pre-conditions, L&G has agreed to grant CGTV a period of exclusivity up to 31 October 2007, during which it is prohibited from soliciting other offers for the company or its assets.

While there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, even if the pre-conditions are satisfied or waived, the offer would be in cash at not less than 13 pence per ordinary share, being the price at which the company carried out its most recent placing.

The rest of the interim report made for disappointing reading, mainly due to poor results during May and June.

Leisure and Gaming's CEO, Henry Birch, said: Last season was not great for the Italian industry as a whole and on top of Milan winning the Champions League, there were a number of weekends where many of the favourites won in the league. When you take combination bets, the margins are usually very good but a bad run of results will hit hard.

Birch went on to say that LNG is an attractive option CGTV because of its distribution network throughout Italy, where it has around 800 Betshop franchises. Italy is one of CGTVs biggest markets and it wants to dominate the market. Our network gives them a fantastic opportunity to roll out their gaming products in one of their key markets as well as benefiting from the regular sports betting revenue that we have, he said.

The L&G report encompassed results from chief subsidiary Betshop Group (Europe) Limited, Grouse Entertainment NV, its Acropolis-branded online casino business, and central costs for L&G.

Highlights noted were:

* Top-line growth in the equivalent 6 month period from 2006 to 2007:

* 75 percent growth in turnover to Euro 65.4 million on a like-for-like basis

* 44 percent growth in net win to Euro 13.9 million on a like-for-like basis

However, gross profit and EBIT were severely impacted by adverse sporting results in May and June, notably Milans victory in the Champions League Final:

Euro 1.2 million gross profit compared to Euro 1.7 million in 2006
Euro 1.1 million EBIT loss in Betshop compared to Euro 100 000 loss in 2006

Trading over the summer period from 1 July to 17 September saw turnover of Euro 14.0 million, compared to Euro 15.7 million for the equivalent period in 2006. Net win was down to Euro 3.6 million, compared to Euro 4.2 million for the equivalent period in 2006, and gross profit declined to of Euro 600 000, compared to Euro 800 000 for the equivalent period in 2006.


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001


Confirming rumours that have been swirling for the past three weeks, L&G looks elsewhere

Leisure & Gaming, the online betting and gaming group has terminated takeover discussions with CGTV Games Ltd with immediate effect, the firm has announced to the London market.

Originally Canadian-based, CGTV was reportedly interested in acquiring L&G (see previous InfoPowa report), a prospect that surprised many observers given the rumours concerning the company which have been swirling around the industry for the past three weeks. GCTV acquired the troubled Gambling Federation group last year.

However, ex-staff members at CGTV have revealed that CGTV has let go almost 75 percent of its CAD staff this year in both Canada and China, where a 12 man development office still apparently operates. And reports of a new office in Ireland are being questioned regarding location, management and staff numbers, too.

Adding to the intrigue, the Canadian business news publication recently published a highly critical article on the CEO at CGTV, one Barry Hansen, regarding business activities in which he was allegedly involved in China. There is also speculation that CGTV may be about to morph into a new firm branded Velocity Games.

In its statement to the market, Leisure and Gaming said it had been approached by other parties and was now considering these alternative proposals. It noted that it was not currently in discussions with any other party relating to a takeover of the company.

Speculation over a possible deal began at the end of September, when L&G noted in its interim results that it had received an indicative offer from CGTV, described as "...a global provider of casino software and slots based in Dublin, Ireland."

Leisure & Gaming plc is a holding company focused on the online betting and gaming sector. Incorporated in England and Wales and listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) under the symbol ‘LNG’ since September 2004. The company focus is on emerging markets, particularly Italy and Central and Eastern Europe, and it has offices in the UK, Italy, Cyprus, Greece and Romania.
Main operations consist of BetShop Italia, an online sports betting service supported by a franchised network of approxiamtely 800 Betshop-branded shops and retail outlets offering sports betting via terminals, across with a further 300 outlets pending;, a pan-European online sports betting, casino and poker business operating in eight languages;, a soccer information and results portal service for internet and mobile phone users; and

Acropolis Casino, a pan-European online casino.

Between them, these companies hold a UK bookmaker's permit and betting and gaming licences from the Netherlands Antilles, Romania, Cyprus and Italy.

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