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Zeal plans takeover of Lotto24 in Germany

Wed, Jan 16, 10:27am by Staff Writer

A co-founder and shareholder of Zeal Network has publicly confirmed his support for the company’s planned takeover of Lotto24.

Zeal said it received a letter from Marc Peters confirming “his firm intention to vote in favour of the resolutions” in the forthcoming General Meeting, schedule for Friday, January 18.

Peters wrote “having reviewed the proposed transaction as well as the recent changes in the regulatory environment in detail, I have come to the conclusion that both the business model change as well as the proposed transaction with Lotto 24 are the right way forward for the company.”

Peters has a 4.8 per cent stake in the business and affirmed his support of the takeover plans that were first mooted in November, 2018.

Zeal hopes Peters’ endorsement will persuade other shareholders to back the board’s takeover plan when it is voted on later this week.

“Zeal views the endorsement by Mr Peters as further confirmation that the planned transformation of its business model in Germany to lottery brokerage and the creation of the leading private digital lottery broker in Germany through the combination with Lotto24 is the best strategy for the company,” a company spokesperson said.

Zeal Network turned down an $87.2 million offer from Lottoland for its German business, dismissing the lottery betting operators bid as an attempt to disrupt its acquisition of Lotto 24.

Lottoland bids for

Just days ago Lottoland lodged the cash offer to buy the business, with a view to also purchasing Zeal’s UK subsidiary Tipp24 Services Ltd, its customers and related intellectual property and infrastructure.

Zeal has rejected the non-binding offer, saying it significantly undervalues and would strip the business of its most valuable asset.

Chief executive Helmut Becker said: “it does not reflect the value of our German business. At the same time, a sale of our core business would leave Zeal and its shareholders with all downside risks from pending VAT litigation in Germany and with significant costs from restructuring the rest of the business.”

Zeal acting swiftly on proposed move

Zeal announced plans to acquire its former subsidiary Lotto24 in December 2018, with a view to repurposing its lottery-betting arm Tipp24 as a brokerage business.

The war of wards between Zeal and Lottoland is being played out against a backdrop of increasing regulatory pressure on lottery betting operators in Germany.

In recent years there have been bans on Lottoland operating and advertising in certain region of the country.

The proposed takeover of Lotto24 would reunite Zeal with the independent business after the two separated in 2012, according to iGamingBusiness.

“Zeal will reunite with Germany’s largest digital lottery broker,” Dr Becker said.

“We will have a significantly enlarged, loyal customer base, strong technology and marketing platforms, and an exceptionally experienced team,” he said.

Since an initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2014, Lotto24 has grown rapidly, generating billings of more than US$2.5 billion and revenue of US$39.9 million in 2017.

Zeal plans to discontinue the secondary lottery business of its Lotto24’s Tipp24 brand to focus on the brokerage business that tends to be less volatile than secondary lottery.

This would allow Zeal to gain a foothold in Germany’s lottery market, complementing operations in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands.

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