The world’s biggest online gambling and betting conglomerate, Flutter Entertainment Plc. has acquired 50.1% stake in Junglee Games, the company which operates the online rummy website Junglee Rummy, fantasy sports portal Howzat, as well as, teenpatti and other social games.
The deal was for a cash consideration of 48 million GBP (approximately $67 million USD), which gives the global gaming behemoth majority control in Junglee, with Flutter having the option to buy out the remaining 49.9% stake in the company by 2025.
According to those in the knowledge of things, the deal was at a considerably lower valuation than expected due to recent bans on online games for stakes, including rummy and fantasy sports in states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh which contribute more than 35% revenues for rummy operators.
Before finalising the deal with Junglee Games, which is amongst the top five rummy companies in India, Flutter was said to be in talks with another major rummy operator.
Flutter Entertainment is a global market leader for online gambling and betting services and has a market cap of around US$35 billion. It operates various top gaming brands in European, Australian, and American markets such as Betfair, Paddy Power, FanDuel, PokerStars, Fox Bet, and Full Tilt Poker.
In India, the group has licensed its PokerStars brand for an India-specific poker website to Sachiko Gaming Private Limited (a Sugal & Damani Group company).
This is the third big M&A deal in the online gaming space in India this year. Last month, it was reported that the online skill games platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) raised US$95 million in a Series D round at a valuation of around US$ 945 million. The round was led by Composite Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures, with participation from Base Partners, RTP Global, SIG, Go-Ventures, Telstra Ventures, Founders Circle and Play Ventures.
A few existing investors of the leading fantasy sports platform Dream11 are also said to have completed a secondary sale transaction, a few weeks ago, at a company valuation of around US$4 billion.