The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) has announced a definitive agreement to sell its majority shareholding in Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) to La Française des Jeux (FDJ), a French lottery and online gaming operator.
The deal, reportedly worth $510.9 million, signifies a shift in the ownership of the Irish National Lottery from Canada to France.
A Shift in Lottery Ownership
In 2014, OTPP acquired a 20-year license to operate the franchise for $598.9 million. Earlier this year, the Swiss bank UBS was hired to advise on the sale of the license. This move follows the recent sales of Camelot UK and Camelot Lottery Solutions to global operator Allwyn, as OTPP continues to withdraw from the lottery market.
Four months after The Times reported OTPP’s intention to sell PLI, the Canadian pension fund confirmed the deal with FDJ. The agreement will see FDJ assume OTPP’s majority stake in PLI, the operator of the Irish National Lottery. Furthermore, PLI’s other shareholders, An Post and the An Post pension fund will also sell their minority shareholdings in PLI to FDJ.
A Successful Run for PLI
Vivienne Jupp, Chair of PLI, expressed gratitude towards Ontario Teachers’ and An Post for their support in building PLI into a leading European operator since 2014. During this period, PLI has significantly contributed to Good Causes and the community.
The team at PLI is looking forward to the next chapter of growth, where they will be able to share best practices with FDJ and continue to operate responsible world-class lottery for Ireland.
Since being awarded the license to operate the Irish National Lottery, PLI has raised over $2.7 billion for Good Causes, with 2021 and 2022 being the most successful years in that regard.
A New Chapter for PLI
Iñaki Echave, Senior Managing Director at OTPP, expressed gratitude towards the PLI team for their contribution. He stated that as long-term investors, their aim is to build stronger companies that create value for the communities they serve. PLI has generated record levels of sales and contributions to Good Causes.
Echave believes that FDJ, a highly reputed international lottery company, is well-positioned to help PLI continue its success story.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
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