NetPlayTV plc Acquires Vernons.com
NetPlayTV, the interactive gaming group, is pleased to announce that it has purchased Vernons.com, the e-gaming division of Sportech plc, from Sportech (Alderney) Limited ("Sportech") Vernons.com operates an online casino, bingo, poker and sports book ("Vernons"). The acquisition includes the brand, customer database and various other gaming assets. The purchase, through the Group's subsidiary NetPlayTV Group Limited in Alderney, is for a total consideration of £3 million, which will be satisfied in cash from NetPlay's cash resources. In addition, Sportech have agreed to contribute £0.1m towards NetPlay's restructuring and integration costs which will be settled in full, in cash, on completion.
The significant synergy opportunities will ensure efficient integration and immediate profitability. Vernons draws the majority of its revenue from online casino, operates on the same software platform as NetPlay, and both parties have operations in Guernsey.
The acquisition provides the Group with further product differentiation, and it will cross market its existing live roulette TV product by offering it to Vernons' customer database post integration. In addition, the Group has signed a memorandum of understanding which will enable it to offer Sportech's football pools to NetPlay's customer base.
Vernons achieved an operating profit in the 12 months ended 31 December 2012 of £1.1 million on total revenue of £4.8 million. In the six months ended 30 June 2013, Vernons made an operating loss of £0.7m on total revenue of £2.8m. The acquisition is deemed a substantial transaction under the AIM rules for companies.
Commenting on the acquisition, Charles Butler, NetPlay said:
"I am very pleased to announce the acquisition of the well-known Vernons.com brand and its customer base. The acquisition, which will be immediately earnings enhancing, fits very well with the Group's core business, adds scale and customer reach, and will be integrated quickly and efficiently to realise the excellent operational synergies.
"This represents the acceleration of our strategy to grow through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. We look forward to investing further in our proven marketing strategy for Vernons.com alongside our existing brands and continuing to drive value for shareholders."