Flutter has spread its wings to Serbia, acquiring a majority stake in MaxBet for €141 million in cash. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
European portfolio is growing
Dublin, Ireland-based Flutter Entertainment has added a new omnichannel gaming arm to its European portfolio after announcing the acquisition of 51% of Serbian challenger brand MaxBet for €141 million ($148 million) in cash.
Flutter shared news of its majority stake in MaxBet via X on Wednesday:
The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, will strengthen Flutter’s presence in the Eastern European gaming market. FanDuel parent company also has a chance to acquire the remaining 49% of MaxBet in 2029.
According to Flutter, MaxBet has benefited from Serbia’s staggering 25% growth in the online betting market “on an annual basis” over the past five years. In the last 12 months to June 2023, MaxBet achieved “fully regulated pro forma revenue of €145 million” with an adjusted EBITDA of €32 million.
Flutter CEO Peter Jackson expressed his company’s excitement about the acquisition, saying the move is in line with Flutter’s international business strategy to “acquire and build podium positions in regulated markets.”
Accelerate and transform growth”
Jackson viewed Flutter’s forays into the Indian, Italian and Georgia markets as a blueprint for success in Serbia. With the acquisition of the brand, which is second only to Meridianbet on the Serbian gaming industry podium, Jackson believes that the strength of Flutter combined with MaxBet’s local knowledge will “accelerate and transform growth.”
According to the Flutter press release, MaxBet will offer Flutter Access to over 400 brick-and-mortar branches total as well as 95,000 average monthly online players.
According to Statista, the Serbian gambling market is in a healthy position and is getting stronger Online gambling revenue is expected to reach €119.90 million in 2023.
Flutter explained that Serbia is “an attractive, regulated market […] with expected average annual online growth of around 15% through 2025.”