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Zona de Azar France – French Group FDJ Acquires National Lottery Operator in €350m Deal

France.- July 31th 2023 French lottery operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has signed an agreement to acquire Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which holds the exclusive rights to operate the Irish National Lottery until 2034.
FDJ said it is acquiring the entire capital of Premier Lotteries Ireland for an enterprise value of €350m.

It means all three of Premier Lotteries current shareholders: main shareholder Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) plus An Post, and An Post Pension Fund, are selling their stakes.

OTPP acquired the operator in 2014 for €405m in a deal that granted a 20-year licensing period and included keeping long-time lottery operator An Post and An Post Pension Funds as junior partners

While An Post has been a minority shareholder since the licence was privatised in the wake of the financial crisis the sale will mean no state involvement in the National Lottery for the first time since it was created.

The sale is subject to approval by the Regulator of the National Lottery.

The Irish National Lottery will continue to be owned by the Irish State but it operates under a 20 year licence that was sold in 2014 for €405m. There is a decade left to run on the licence.

FDJ is the operator of the French National Lottery.

Vivienne Jupp, Chair of Premier Lotteries said: “PLI has moved from strength to strength since winning the licence for the Irish National Lottery. I would like to thank Ontario Teachers’ and An Post for their support in building PLI into a leading European operator in the period since 2014.”

An Post CEO and National Lottery Director, David McRedmond, said the sale was a positive outcome for Ireland and for the National Lottery that FDJ, a long-established operator of the French lottery has been successful in its bid.

“FDJ’s industry expertise will be hugely beneficial to the future operation, and strengthens Ireland’s ties to its nearest EU neighbour,” he said.

The National Lottery made sales of €1.05bn in 2021, its most successful year to date, according to the most recent annual report published last summer.

Of that, €304m was distributed to what it calls “good causes”, while €586m was paid out in prizes for Lotto and other games, including scratch cards.

The Government put the National Lottery up for sale in 2012, when the State was just a year into its bailout programme, with a pledge to spend the proceeds on the National Children’s Hospital.

Edited by: @MaiaDigital


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