888 Holdings PLC has announced that it has signed an agreement with five industry veterans to form a new joint venture (888AFRICA), that will operate 888 brands in online betting and gaming markets across selected regulated markets in Africa. 888 has invested in a minority stake in 888AFRICA, with the option to increase this to take control, and ultimately own up to 100% of the venture in the future.
888AFRICA will be led by industry leaders including Christopher Coyne, former Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Customer Officer at The Stars Group; Andrew Lee, former MD – Sportsbook of The Stars Group and current Chairman of Voxbet; Alex Rutherford, former Chief Product Officer at Editec Online; Ian Marmion, former Sportsbook Trading Director at The Stars Group; and Helen Scott-Allen, former CFO of Premier Bet.
Under the terms of the agreement, 888AFRICA will pay a brand licence fee to use and operate 888’s renowned online betting and gaming brands in selected regulated markets in Africa. The brands will operate via a third-party technology platform, with products and content designed for the local preferences of the African market. Initially, 888AFRICA expects (subject to licensing) to launch in four markets on the continent during 2022.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888 Holdings, said: “We are very excited to establish 888AFRICA alongside such an impressive roster of industry talent. The new JV will launch 888’s world-class online betting and gaming brands to millions of new customers in the exciting and fast-growing African online market. The structure of this deal enables the Group to invest in a strong business with high growth ambitions, without distracting focus from our core business and key strategic markets.
“We look forward to being a part of 888AFRICA’s journey as it grows its footprint and increases brand awareness, while also offering potentially significant long-term opportunities for the Group in the future.”
Christopher Coyne, CEO of 888AFRICA, said: “We are delighted to launch 888AFRICA alongside 888. With our team of experienced professionals and significant knowledge of the African markets, it is our ambition to build the business towards market-leading positions in selected regulated markets across the region.
“Partnering with 888 will give us access to a world-class brand, as well as a broad team of experts to support our growth plans, further enhancing our confidence in our future prospects.”
Oakvale Capital LLP acted as financial adviser and Herzog Fox & Neeman acted as legal adviser to 888.