Elys Game Technology (NASDAQ:ELYS), a gaming technology provider, said today it’s acquiring Bookmakers Company US for $12 million in cash and equity.
While that’s the upfront price, Elys could ultimately dole out up to $53.8 million for the company known as US Bookmaking (USB) pursuant to various earnings clauses contained in the agreement.
Members of USB will have an opportunity to receive up to an additional $38 million plus a potential premium of 10% (or $3.8 million) based upon achievement of certain earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) milestones during the next 4 years, payable 50 percent in cash and 50 percent in stock,” according to a statement issued by the companies.
The earnouts will be based on EBITDA metrics ranging from a loss of $213,850 this year to a positive $19,441,483 for 2025.
Deal Fits with Elys US Expansion Plans
The acquisition of US Bookmaking jibes with efforts by Elys to secure a place in the fast-growing US sports wagering market.
Founded in 2016, Las Vegas-based USB provides consulting and sportsbook services to gaming companies. Solutions offered by USB include brick-and-mortar sportsbook design, development of mobile sports wagering apps and in-game betting services.
Following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), “USB began providing its services to the Santa Ana Star Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico and expanded its New Mexico presence with service provider agreements at Isleta Resort & Casino and Santa Claran Hotel & Casino. USB then expanded to Colorado at the Sky Ute property followed by agreements with the Odawa Tribe in Michigan and the 4 Bears Tribe in North Dakota,” according to the company.
USB also has a service agreement in Washington, DC that kicks in later this year and a skin for an interactive gaming business in Iowa.
Elys Investors Yawn
Elys stock jumped more than four percent in early trading Wednesday on news of the deal, but the shares gradually sold off as the session moved along. In late trading, Elys is off more than three percent, extending its year-to-date decline to 32 percent.
Still, some analysts believe Elys is inefficiently priced and could represent a value story for prescient investors. The company is cash flow positive and had $21.5 million in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter. That’s an impressive sum relative to its market capitalization of $89.1 million.
“Early investors could be incentivized by a compellingly priced stock relative to market opportunity. Nonetheless, a long position in ELYS will require patience as the business model, even though proven in the Italy market, will still require time to play out in the U.S. market,” notes analyst Debra Fiakas. “Investors will need to school themselves against expecting immediate results in one or two quarters.”