888 teams up with The Stars Group alumni to launch new African joint venture

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888 has licensed its betting and gaming brand out to a new African-facing joint venture business led by leading industry executives.

888AFRICA will launch on an undisclosed third-party technology platform across selected African online gambling markets.

The London-listed operator has invested in a minority stake in the JV, with the option to increase this stake and ultimately end up with 100% ownership.

888AFRICA will be led by a highly experienced iGaming industry management team, several of which made a name for themselves at The Stars Group (TSG) before it was acquired by Flutter.

Former TSG CMO Christopher Coyne will serve as CEO of the JV, while former TSG sportsbook MD Andrew Lee and TSG trading director Ian Marmion will also be involved.

Completing the high-profile leadership line-up is Alex Rutherford, former CPO at Editec Online and Helen Scott-Allen, who was previously CFO of Premier Bet.

Under the terms of the agreement, 888AFRICA will pay a brand licence fee to use and operate 888’s online betting and gaming brands across the continent.

The site’s products will be designed for the local preferences of African consumers, with four separate African market launches planned for 2022.

888 CEO Itai Pazner: “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.”

888 CEO Itai Pazner 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,” he added.

888’s main priority is completing the acquisition of William Hill’s International assets and UK retail portfolio, which is scheduled to conclude in Q2.

888AFRICA CEO Coyne said: “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,” he added.

Oakvale Capital acted as financial adviser on the deal while Herzog Fox & Neeman served as a legal adviser to 888.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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