Entain’s Netherlands subsidiary has filed a lawsuit against former shareholders of BetCity in the UK’s Commercial Court. The case, with the reference number CL-2023-000850, involves Entain Holdings (Netherlands) B.V. v. Sports Entertainment Media B.V. and others. Among the defendants are members of the Singels family who previously had a majority stake in BetCity before the acquisition by Entain. This news was first reported by Dutch gambling trade media Casino Nieuws.
Entain has filed a Part 7 Claim, which pertains to matters of contract law. The specific details of the claim have not been disclosed publicly, but the lawsuit names the previous legal entity that owned BetCity, Sports Entertainment Media B.V., as one of the defendants. Other defendants include former CEO Melvin Bostelaar, former marketing director Robert Kooiman, and seven members of the Singels family.
Bostelaar left his position in June 2023 for personal reasons and was replaced by Vic Walla, a veteran from PartyPoker. Entain has enlisted the services of law firm Clifford Chance to handle the case and provide guidance on the acquisition of the Dutch gambling business. The defendants are being represented by the London-based law firm Sidley Austin LLC.
The acquisition of BetCity by Entain was completed in January 2023. It was initially valued at €300 million, with the potential to increase to €450 million based on performance targets. The deal was projected to generate €28 million in synergies by 2026. BetCity was one of the first companies to be licensed in the regulated Dutch online gambling market, which launched in October 2021. At the time of the acquisition, BetCity held a 20% market share, according to data from the country’s gambling regulator.
Recently, there have been concerns raised about the returns from Entain’s acquisitions under former CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen, as the company’s share price has declined. The BetCity deal was expected to result in £28 million of cost synergies by the end of 2026. The initial payment for the acquisition was financed through the Group’s refinancing and cash resources.
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