The French national lottery operator will pay €350m for Premier Lotteries Ireland.
Ireland.- France’s Française des Jeux (FDJ) is to buy Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), the operator of the Irish National Lottery. The group, which runs France’s national lottery, will pay €350m to buy the business from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), An Post and An Post Pension Fund.
It was reported in March that PLI was up for sale despite PLI still having 10 years left on its licence. The move came after the OTPP sold Camelot UK, the UK National Lottery Operator, to the Czech Republic-based Allwyn after losing the tender for the next UK licence.
There had been speculation that Allwyn might also buy the Irish lottery operator having won the tender to run the UK National Lottery from February 2024.
FDJ’s acquisition is expected to be completed this year, although it still requires regulatory approvals and the approval of the Irish National Lottery. The move marks an expansion for a group that was founded in 1976 to run France’s national lottery. The French state reduced its stake in the company to 20 per cent in 2017.
PLI has exclusive operating rights for the Irish National Lottery until 2034 under a 20-year deal. It paid €405m for the licence in 2014, beating competing bids from Italy’s Gtech and Australia’s Tatts. PLI says the licence will not be affected by the takeover.
It said: “The Irish National Lottery is and will continue to be, owned by the Irish state for the benefit of good causes, regulated by the regulator of the National Lottery and operated by Premier Lotteries Ireland DAC. We would like to assure you that the National Lottery games will continue as usual.”
FDJ chairwoman and CEO Stéphane Pallez described PLI as “a long-standing partner in the Euromillions community.” She said: “Becoming the operator of a foreign lottery marks another major step in the FDJ Group’s international development.”
For 2022, PLI posted gross gaming revenue of €399m and overall revenue of €140m. Its earning margin was in alignment with that of FDJ at over 5 per cent.
Meanwhile, FDJ has reported H1 results with revenue up 6.3 per cent year-on-year at €1.28bn. The rise came on the back of a 10.5 per cent increase in sports betting and online gaming revenue (€257m). Its lottery revenue grew by just 1 per cent to €958m in H1 from a 2.3 per cent rise in sales. FDJ now expects its purchase of PLI to improve the vertical’s future performance.