The rebranded Czech lottery and gaming giant plans the move as part of its strategy to become a major global player.
Czech Republic.- The Czech lottery giant Allwyn, formerly SAZKA Entertainment, has announced plans for a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The company, which has a strong presence in Europe, rebranded as Allwyn last month as it plans to expand globally. The new name is the brand it created in April 2021 to house its UK operations as part of its bid for the UK National Lottery licence.
The company is working with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Cohn Robbins Holdings Corp (CRHC) for a listing that it says would result in a total enterprise value of around $9.3bn (€8.2bn), around 11.5 times Allwyn’s adjusted EBITDA in 2020.
Allwyn noted that the listing would support its global ambitions by granting it increased access to capital markets to help it accelerate its growth strategy as it aims to expand beyond European markets of Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus and Italy.
Allwyn chief executive Robert Chvatal said: “It is an opportune time for Allwyn to take this exciting step; jurisdictions in Europe and North America should have higher expectations for the innovations their lotteries can deliver.
“With consumers expecting the option to experience and pay for entertainment online, Allwyn is building stronger, more individualised and more valuable relationships with our customers. We look forward to applying our experience in developing market-specific, culturally-attuned lottery entertainment to new customers and geographies as an NYSE-listed company.”
If the listing goes ahead, it’s expected that Allwyn equity holders would hold on to around 83 per cent of the company, and no single new shareholder would have a stake of more than 5 per cent immediately after the listing.
The boards of Allwyn and CRHC have unanimously approved the listing, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to approval by CRHC stockholders and regulators.
CRHC is a blank cheque company founded by former Goldman Sachs president and COO Gary Cohn and Blue Harbour founder Clifton S Robbins. If the move goes ahead, Robbins will join the Allwyn board and Cohn will be appointed as a special advisor to the chairman of Allwyn’s board.
Cohn and Robbins said: “We have worked with hundreds of management teams and invested in hundreds of companies in our careers, but we founded Cohn Robbins to seek out just one.
“We believe that Allwyn is the right company, in the right industry, at the right time and with the right leadership team. We are excited by the growth opportunities the company has ahead of it and we look forward to providing our support.
“We also are very pleased to be bringing this transaction to Cohn Robbins shareholders in an innovative way and at an attractive valuation.”
“Going public positions Allwyn to expand its shared success to more markets.”Karel Komárek, Allwyn chair and founder of KKCG Investment Group
Karel Komárek, Allwyn chair and founder of KKCG Investment Group, Allwyn’s majority owner, added: “Listing on the NYSE is the next chapter in Allwyn’s history and track record of shared success benefitting players, communities, governments and investors.
“We forecast the business delivering attractive revenue, profit and cash flow growth, creating attractive long-term value for investors. Going public positions Allwyn to expand its shared success to more markets, while enhancing capital access to fund opportunities for accelerated growth.
“KKCG has known for years that Allwyn is an amazing business, and I am very proud that global investors will have the opportunity to participate in its further growth.”