CVC Capital to buy Italian betting and payments company Sisal Group for €1 bn

European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners yesterday struck a deal to buy Sisal Group S.p.A. in a deal that values the Italian betting and payments company at €1 billion ($1.11 billion), including debt of €966 million.

Based in Milan, Sisal is an operator in the Italian gaming market and the biggest provider of payments services.

Founded in 1946, Sisal was the first Italian company to operate in the gaming sector as a government licensee. Through its network of 45,000 points of sale, the company offers the public in excess of 500 payment services.

Private equity firms Apax, Permira and Clessidra funds had acquired Sisal in 2006 and transformed it from a lottery player into a retail conglomerate diversified across payment services, online, video lotteries, sport betting and lotteries.

The Milan-based company had revenues of €787 million in 2015, down 4 per cent from the previous year, and a net loss of €40 million. 

CVC already has two investments in the gaming industry - Sky Bet (UK) and Tipico (Germany).

Giampiero Mazza, partner and head of CVC's Italian team, said, ''We are very pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Sisal. The Company is a well diversified entertainment business with a historical brand in Italy and strong market positions across gaming, lotteries, betting and convenience payments.

Emilio Petrone, CEO of Sisal, said, ''I am confident that with CVC, we will make a formidable team enabling Sisal to fully exploit its potential, becoming even stronger and more competitive.