SVL 20% away from full ownershipFriday, April 16, 2021
By Durrant Pate
Jamaica-based regional gaming company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) is 20 per cent away from having outright ownership of its Post-to-Post Betting subsidiary, having acquired another 29 per cent of shares from the original owners.
The acquisition now brings SVL's total interest in the race horse betting outfit to 80 per cent.
Post-to-Post, which trades under the name AnyBet, is a Jamaican company offering gaming products, including sports betting and horse racing to the Jamaican market. It was formed in 2013 from the merger of three betting outfits — Champion Gaming, Markham Betting, and Track Price Plus.
SVL first acquired 51 per cent from the original owners in July 2019 for $572 million. That agreement allowed SVL to buy another 29 per cent of the company, equivalent to 4.16 million shares.
Caribbean Business Report was told that the funding for the acquisition of the additional shares came from the proceeds of last October's $3-billion private placement on the local capital market to finance its expansion plans. SVL's medium-term, fixed-rate unsecured corporate bond attracted an interest rate of seven per cent and matures on October 30, 2025.
SVL reported that the acquisition of Post-to-Post Betting is aligned with its growth strategy, which has seen the company not only expanding in the Jamaican horse racing and mobile gaming market, but also into the region with iBET Supreme in Guyana. The company stated that Post-to-Post will enable it to better serve various segments of the gaming market and allow the introduction of innovative products to a wider cross section of customers.
SVL also secured majority interest in gaming company Champion Gaming. Both acquisitions were flagged by Jamaica's competition regulator, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), which wanted to find out the implications of the acquisitions. Having gone in and executed an investigation into whether the acquisitions constitute SVL having an unfair advantage in the race horse betting and slot machine gaming markets, the FTC cleared the regional lottery and gaming company.
The FTC declared that the acquisitions will not lessen competition in the marketplace. In its ruling, the FTC concluded that the acquisitions would have minimal effect on competition in the racehorse, betting and gaming businesses and that, “the acquisition agreements are unlikely to have the effect of a substantial lessening of competition in the bookmaking services market”.
The FTC reported that “essentially, the agreements are not in breach of Section 17 of the Fair Competition Act (FCA)”. The effect of the agreements on competition was assessed in three markets: (i) betting services on sports events and virtual games (ii) betting services on simulcast horse racing, and (iii) betting on services on local horse racing.
The FTC said it is satisfied that gaming and gambling regulator, the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, has the power to avert any such discriminatory conduct. The FTC opened the investigation under Section 17 of the FCA, which applies to agreements which have as their purpose, effect or likely effect, the substantial lessening of competition in a market.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login