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Penta Investments has confirmed to NEXT.io that it has entered into discussions with JPMorgan to explore the potential sale of Fortuna Entertainment Group.

Penta will explore several strategic options with the Central and Eastern European retail and online gaming giant, including the possibility of selling the business.

A potential transaction could value Fortuna at €2bn, according to unnamed sources quoted in Reuters, who pointed out the business had 2023 EBITDA of €200m.

Potential buyers include European gambling operators and private equity firms with assets in the sector, the sources added.

A spokesperson for the investment fund told NEXT.io: “While it’s true that Penta has initiated discussions with JPMorgan to explore various strategic options for Fortuna Entertainment Group, it’s essential to emphasise that this process extends beyond a mere transactional sale.

“Rather, it underscores Penta’s commitment to meticulously evaluating alternative avenues for the future development of the franchise, ensuring sustainable growth and long-term value creation.”

Penta takes Fortuna private in 2018

Penta bought out most of the remaining shareholders in the Czech betting business in 2018, before de-listing it from the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges.

CEE remains a growth region in online gaming. Both Entain and Flutter Entertainment have made acquisitions to gain footholds in the region, through Poland’s STS and Serbia’s MaxBet, respectively.

Fortuna has been led by former Paddy Power Online CEO Victor Corcoran since September 2022.

“As discussions are in their early stages, it’s premature to speculate on the specific outcomes,” the Penta spokesperson said.

“However, the possibility of a majority sale remains within the realm of consideration. Penta, as a long-term investor, remains committed to the sector.

“Our continued interest in the industry is driven by a robust belief in its potential and enduring value. We find the sector attractive and are looking to stay in it.”

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