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Novibet to Go Public in $625M Merger

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Artemis Strategic Investment Corporation, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, and Logflex MT Holding Limited (doing business as “Novibet”), an established and profitable technology-enabled operator, jointly announced that the companies entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination, whereby Artemis will merge into a new wholly-owned subsidiary of Novibet in a transaction based on Novibet’s pre-transaction enterprise valuation of $625 million. Following completion of the transaction, Novibet’s ordinary shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Artemis founders and existing Novibet stakeholders will hold approximately 75% of the combined company at close.

The proceeds from the business combination and expected ongoing positive cash flow growth from existing operations are expected to favorably position Novibet to execute on a multi-pronged growth strategy that will grow its presence in the total addressable market (TAM).

Holly Gagnon, Chairperson and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Artemis, said: “Novibet has a strong record of success developing a superior technical platform to address the global iGaming opportunity in a manner that delivers profitable financial performance and positive cash flow. This record, combined with its demonstrated ability to successfully and profitably enter new markets as well as the significant opportunity to leverage its competitive advantages in new markets, including in North America, aligns with our original investment thesis and makes Novibet an ideal partner for Artemis.”

“Novibet’s innovative and wholly-owned technology platform and expansive suite of iCasino games and products have helped establish it as a successful iGaming and sports betting operator in the fast-growing Greece market and is helping to drive profitable market share growth in its other markets. Over the last three years, Novibet has consistently grown iGaming and sports betting users while also increasing the number of bets or hands played per user, resulting in a nearly 69% increase in the twelve-month value of each user to $617 in 2021 when compared to 2019.

“We expect the available growth capital and ongoing positive cash flow growth from Novibet’s current operations, coupled with our own substantial industry expertise, will provide a significant benefit to Novibet’s efforts to continue to grow share in its existing markets and simultaneously address new markets, including the large North American iGaming and sports betting opportunity along with the Latin American market. We are confident that Novibet’s proven, efficient, digital-focused customer acquisition strategy and depth of content offerings will enable it to deliver continued profitable growth as it launches its North American offerings beginning early next year.”

George Athanasopoulos, Chief Executive Officer of Novibet, said: “Novibet has always focused on generating revenue growth that delivers positive cash flow. As we move closer to launching in additional markets where we can leverage our product and technology advantages, that focus will not waver. Our proposed combination with Artemis will enable us to both accelerate growth in our existing markets and efficiently enter newer markets. We see a significant growth opportunity in North America as our planned launch of operations in the US, Canada and Mexico will significantly grow our TAM with our expected initial market access agreements for seven states enabling us to reach 14% of the U.S. population. Furthermore, with approximately $135 million of expected unrestricted cash (assuming no redemptions) and positive cash flow from operations, we will be well-positioned to opportunistically pursue accretive acquisitions that can further grow our revenue and profitability. We believe our execution on these strategies will result in consistent cash flow growth which, combined with our new access to the U.S. financial markets, will help us to continue to invest in growth opportunities and drive significant long-term shareholder value.”

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Ainsworth Primed to Progress After 17% Revenue Rise

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AGT chairman Danny Gladstone said a 17% rise in full-year revenue to $284.9m will allow the company to “release new and innovative products to further improve the group’s financial results.”

Underlying EBITDA was $57.8m compared to $55.8m a year ago, with profit before tax, excluding currency effects and one-off items, rising 10.4%. International revenues, which now account for 86% of AGT’s total revenue, rose 24%.

North America revenue in the current period was $140.4m, a 17% increase, while revenues of $80.1m were achieved in Latin America and Europe, climbing 26%.

“This momentum was driven by continued demand in Argentina and a return in venue re-openings within Mexico and Peru. In the current period unit sales in Mexico represented 25 per cent of total unit sales compared to 10% in the PCP,” AGT said.

Gladstone said: “Following the announcement made in November 2023 where the company advised on the engagement of Macquarie Capital as the company’s financial advisor, a strategic review of all potential opportunities has progressed in the period.

“This strategic review encompasses a number of potential alternatives to maximise shareholder value. While there is no assurance that any transaction will result from this strategic review, we will continue to keep the market updated.”

AGT CEO Harald Neumann said the company is “well advanced to capitalize on opportunities and progress to further establish the Ainsworth name as a leading provider within the gaming industry sector.”

“Progress made in the current period further exemplifies the confidence in the strategies implemented which are expected to ensure progressive improvements in the company’s earnings in coming periods.

“The investments we have made have enabled us to upgrade our technology, hardware and improve game performance which are expected to deliver further improvements in our financial results and ensure our long term sustained success.”

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Inspired Reports Third Quarter 2023 Results

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Inspired Entertainment, a leading B2B provider of gaming content, technology, hardware and services, reported financial results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2023.

Lorne Weil, Executive Chairman of Inspired, said: “We have completed the financial restatement process and as of today, all amended filings are complete. For the first half of 2023, the net impact to Adjusted EBITDA from the restatement was effectively zero, with a $1 million decrease in previously reported results in Q1 offset by a $1 million increase in Q2. The impact to our Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2022, was a decrease of $0.6 million, from $99.6 million to $99.0 million, or less than 1%. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the third quarter was 27%, but excluding Low Margin Gaming Hardware sales, the margin was 36%, compared to 37% in the prior year quarter.”

Weil continued: “For the quarter, our aggregate digital business, which includes our Virtual Sports and Interactive segments, grew Adjusted EBITDA 9% to $16.4 million from $15.0 million. Year to date, our digital business generated 58% of Adjusted EBITDA contribution compared to 50% in the prior year period. This performance reinforces the shift in our strategic focus towards our higher margin, scalable digital business and we continue to invest in premium content creation for these segments. At the same time, our Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter was impacted by the timing of several one-time sales moving into the fourth quarter. Excluding one-time product sales, Adjusted EBITDA grew 4% year-over-year during the third quarter. As we look forward, we expect our fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA to be in-line with consensus. Additionally, our fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA would have been nearly $2 million higher if not for the ransomware attack on our IT systems impacting results.”

Weil added: “Our digital business third quarter results were led by the Interactive segment where revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increased 28% and 55% year-over-year on a constant currency basis, respectively, underscoring both the growth and scalability of the business. Interactive results reflect another quarterly record as we continue to benefit from an increased footprint through new customer launches, the consistent deployment of new content and increased promotional activity through exclusive deals with tier-one customers as well as revenue growth from existing customers. In our Virtual Sports segment, we generated $13.4 million of revenue during the quarter compared to $14.4 million during the prior year. The year-over-year decline was driven by a major customer’s optimizing of their customer base, with a partial offset due to increased retail revenue. In the last two to three years, we’ve seen extraordinary growth in our Virtual Sports business, driven by new products and market expansions. We believe we are heading into another strong growth phase, driven by our exciting new content partnerships with the NFL and NBA. We have two major markets with substantial growth opportunity, North America and Latin America. In addition, we’ve recently launched Hybrid Dealer, a revolutionary new iGaming product. We are proud to have partnered with BetMGM to launch this innovative new product. With all of this recent progress, we are more convinced than ever that we are in the early stages of an expanding global opportunity with our digital business that will continue to exhibit a high margin and low capital intensity profile.”

Weil continued: “In our land-based operations, which includes our Gaming and Leisure segments, we’ve completed the deployment of our new ‘Vantage’ cabinet across two of our largest licensed betting shop customers, recording another $22.7 million of low margin terminal sales in Q3. We continue to see approximately 11% year-over-year revenue per machine increases with these new terminal deployments. In our pubs business, we’ve deployed ‘Vantage’ across approximately 20% of our customer estate and have experienced approximately 20% year-over-year growth in revenue per machine. This gives us confidence that we are seeing a reacceleration across our land-based businesses.”

Weil concluded: “Fundamentally, our business remains very strong, which was reflected in our repurchase of $1.5 million of our stock during the third quarter. We are optimistic about the compelling digital growth dynamics of the business, as a wider audience engages with online betting and gaming while new jurisdictions continue to launch. Combined with a resilient land-based business, our diversification and expansion ability reinforce our omni-channel strategy combining our high-margin, capital efficient digital businesses with our steady land-based businesses.”

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FanDuel Appoints E. Sequoyah Simermeyer as VP of Strategic Partnerships

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FanDuel Group, a subsidiary of Flutter Entertainment, has appointed E. Sequoyah Simermeyer to the newly established position of VP of Strategic Partnerships.

Simermeyer boasts a distinguished career in public service, where he most recently served as the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).

In his new role at FanDuel, Simermeyer aims to play a crucial part in leading the company’s initiatives to cultivate sustainable commercial relationships across the US, with a specific focus on promoting economic development that supports tribal sovereignty.

“Sequoyah Simermeyer has been at the forefront of shaping and safeguarding tribal gaming, focusing on priority issues and public policy for close to 25 years. We are very honored to welcome Chairman Simermeyer to the FanDuel leadership team, as he brings a career dedicated to addressing tribal economic development. With his guidance we look forward to learning how to best partner with and support native sovereign nations across the country,” FanDuel Senior VP Rikki Tanenbaum said.

“It mattered to me to join a team where I could use my background as a former regulator, legislative staffer and public servant to Indian Country. FanDuel is the leader in mobile gaming and has helped shape the rise of the legalized and regulated marketplace in the US. Mobile gaming remains a very young and dynamic industry, and I’m excited to help the team build out our capacity to work within Indian Country nationally to take advantage of opportunities ahead,” Simermeyer said.

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