Acquisitions — Weekly Round-up (April 2017)

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Mar 2, 2021

Online Gambling Affiliate Marketing Group Buys Online Sports Betting Platform

Acquisition of BetXpert information site and rival affiliate operator Turtle Gaming marks expansion for RakeTech Group.

The European online gambling affiliate marketing company RakeTech Group, announced Thursday that it has acquired leading sports betting platform BetXpert and gambling affiliate company Turtle Gaming, as it continues to pursue an expansion strategy.

BetXpert is a one-stop destination for sports content, expert betting advice and live scores from sports across the world, available in both Danish and English. Turtle Gaming is based in Malta and operates numerous casino and sports betting media outlets, including leading Finnish websites TurtleBet and Nettikasinot.Casino.

Michael Holmberg, RakeTech Group CEO, said in a company statement announcing the deals:

“The acquisitions of BetXpert and Turtle Gaming have advanced our position as a provider of gaming affiliate content in Europe. BetXpert is a well-known brand renowned for quality journalistic content and an objective view of the gambling industry. The Turtle Gaming acquisition provides us with multiple high-quality online gambling media websites that will further enhance our position in Finland.”

Tue Lumbye, founder and CEO of BetXpert, added: “RakeTech’s plans for the future are really impressive and will help strengthen our long-standing position as Denmark’s leading sports betting media platform.”

The acquisitions come off the back of a Euro 70 million investment that was secured earlier this year to fund development in Europe. RakeTech has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, which includes the acquisition of 13 online affiliate companies.

Technology Group Acquires Social Sports Betting Company

South Korea’s AimHigh Global has international ambitions.

South Korean technology provider AimHigh Global has become the largest shareholder, and holds management rights, in social sports betting company SPO Live and intends to use the asset in its ambitious strategy to expand into international markets across the world.

The Korean company acquired a 16.23 percent interest in SPO in January this year in a Won 2.64 billion deposit deal, agreeing to pay KRW 1.2 billion on January 23, 2017 and the balance KRW 1.19 billion in March 3.

Seoul-based SPO provides punters with free live online football broadcasting of the English and Spanish Premier Leagues, along with real-time EPL match streaming, SBS sports broadcasts and an online streaming service of EPL matches, SBS sports broadcasts, data and match analysis, and columns by EPL specialists. The company additionally uses high profile social media networks to facilitate betting.

Aimhigh CEO Wang Xue says that his strategy is to initially address the markets in China and Southeast Asia before turning to Europe and the Americas, creating a strong platform that blends social casino gaming and social sports betting…possibly in collaboration with SPO’s second biggest shareholder, mobile social games developer ME2ON.

Cherry Acquires Further 7.5 Percent In Almor Holding Ltd.

Raises stake to 82.5 percent.

Cherry has called on the option to acquire an additional 7,5 percent of the shares in Maltese online casino and sportsbook company Almor Holding Ltd (Almor) following its purchase of 75 percent of Almor shares in 2015 (see previous InfoPowa report).

Almor, whose focus is on the German-speaking and other additional European markets, has continued to perform above expectations, Cherry said in a press statement.

The purchase price for the additional 7.5 percent of the shares in Almor Holding Limited will, according to the agreement, be paid by either a cash amount of Euro 1 219 889,50 or through class B shares in Cherry AB to the value of approximately SEK 11 717 891,50.

Cherry holds the right to utilise its option to buy the remaining shares in Almor within three years. The remaining shares will be acquired based on a multiple of five times EBIT.

Australia’s Topbetta To Acquire Mad Bookie Online Assets

Brands to remain distinct but corporate synergies planned.

Australian sports betting operator TopBetta has announced that it has reached agreement to acquire the assets of two-year-old Melbourne online bookmaker Mad Bookie.

The deal will see TopBetta acquire Mad Bookie’s over 15,000 player database, and benefit from an annual turnover of around A$80 million achieved by the Melbourne company. Assets covered by the agreement include clients and intellectual property.

Northern Territory-licensed TopBetta advised in a press release Thursday that the deal is subject to regulatory approval by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC), Racing Victoria and Racing NSW.

After completion and for the immediate term, the Mad Bookie business will continue to operate under its established brand but under TopBetta’s existing licence held with NTRC. The company plans to align the synergies across the business’ while maintaining the unique brands of both TopBetta and Mad Bookie.

TopBetta CEO Todd Buckingham said:

“The acquisition of Mad Bookie has the potential to quickly and substantially increase turnover for TopBetta’s retail business while adding significant revenues due to higher yields and cost savings through aligning the synergies between the businesses.

“The deal will also defer payment of the purchase price until after the first 12 months, which will allow the TopBetta business to maintain cash flows over the initial period.

“To acquire a ready-made, active database like Mad Bookie’s under this arrangement makes a lot of sense in an industry that has high customer acquisition costs, and we will certainly be on the lookout for similar deals should they arise in the future, both here in Australia and Internationally.”

Mad Bookie founder and CEO, Brett Luntz, along with key staff will remain with the Mad Bookie business for at least the earn out period, with Luntz agreeing to provide consulting services to TopBetta at market rates throughout this period.

The key terms of the agreement include:

* Upon Completion, TopBetta will pay an initial instalment of A$100,000 in cash to Mad Bookie;

* The purchase price for the Mad Bookie business is to be calculated as the greater of “Purchase Price” calculated:

* 24 times the average monthly net gaming revenue (less taxes and product fees) over the 12 months after completion of the Acquisition (“Earn Out Period”) less the Initial Instalment and specified expenses incurred by Topbetta in relation to the Mad Bookie business over the Earn Out Period; and

* A$400,000 less Specified Expenses;

* TopBetta is to pay the Purchase Price at the end of the Earn Out Period in either cash, shares in the company (valued at a 10 percent discount to the 15 day VWAP) or a combination of both, to be agreed between the parties when the Purchase Price is agreed;

* If TopBetta elects not to pay the Purchase Price in full in cash, and Mad Bookie do not accept shares as payment of the Purchase Price (or part thereof), Mad Bookie may elect to purchase the Mad Bookie business from TopBetta in consideration for a payment equal to the level of funds invested by TopBetta (specifically the Instalment and Specified Expenses), in full satisfaction of TopBetta’s obligations regarding the Purchase Price.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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