LeoVegas Mobile Casino is becoming an iGaming juggernaut through CEO’s strategic M&A plan.
On January 12, 2012, iGaming history was made. That was the day the UK’s LeoVegas first launched its revolutionary, mobile-first casino website. Since then, the company has grown enormously, but never so much as it has in the last two years.
2016 was a phenomenal year for the mobile gambling group. Revenues soared a staggering 70% to €141.4m in the 12 month period. Growth was similarly impressive in 2017, jumping another 53% to €217m. LeoVegas already had a superior product on the market, and saw little space for improvement there. So Chief Executive Officer Gustaf Hagman began looking for new avenues to funnel all that wealth.
For the first five years of its existence, LeoVegas was a stand-alone gambling operation. But not anymore. As the revenue continued flowing in, Mr. Hagman made the strategic decision to shift gears towards mergers and acquisitions (M&As).
M&As Take LeoVegas Mobile Casino from Giant to Juggernaut
It all started in February 2017 when LeoVegas inked a deal to acquire Winga.it. The UK company spent €6.1m to snatch up the brand, giving LeoVegas a small but prodigious foothold in the Italian market; Europe’s largest regulated iGaming sector.
Then, in October of that same year, LeoVegas negotiated another acquisition. This time, the group acquired Maltese-based Web Investments Limited, the parent company of the wildly successful Royal Panda online casino brand. That contract cost LeoVegas €60m up front, with another potential €60m to be paid if the brand meets certain financial criteria within the next 12 months.
In early December 2017, Hagman was on the hunt once more. He successfully negotiated a deal for 51% stake in streaming service provider GamingGrounds United, operator of casinogrounds.com. That deal was completed on January 1, 2018, setting the tone for another year of strategic M&As ahead.
Since then, the mobile gambling behemoth has continued to scoop up additional iGaming products. In February, LeoVegas stepped into the German market with the €2.6m acquisition of World of Sportsbetting. To market its new product, LeoVegas immediately signed German sports icons Lothar Matthäus (football) and Stefan Kretzschmar (handball) as brand ambassadors.
Just last week, the company concluded the €73.5m purchase of Intellectual Property & Software Ltd. IPS is the parent of several iGaming brands, including 21.co.uk, BetUK, Slotboss, and UKCasino, collectively operating under the wing of Rocket 9. LeoVegas is cleverly rebranding the group, Rocket X.
A Little Something For The Employees…
While Hagman’s approach to acquisitions is doing wonders for the company, he also made sure to treat his workers to something special. With such immense organic growth in revenue comes inevitable growth in business operations, and that meant the former 120-strong staff would need a much bigger office to call home.
In mid-December, Hagman gave his “amazing employees” an “early Christmas present”, moving them into a much more spacious 4,000sq-m “top of the line office” in central Stockholm. That office just happened to be the former home of Swedish online slots development group, NetEnt.
Prior to the latest acquisition of the German sports betting firm, LeoVegas’s staff had expanded to about 680. Many of those are working as the mobile casino operator’s customer support representatives in Malta, but the new Swedish office is already nearing capacity.