888 CEO Says He’d Weigh Public Listing to Tap U.S. Market

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Online gambling operator 888 Holdings Plc expects to explore ways to tap U.S. investors and the attractive valuations they bring, including a potential public offering, as the market becomes more important for the London-listed company.

“There might be opportunities like that, to float, to re-float, to split out — there are many different structures,” Chief Executive Officer Itai Pazner said in an interview with Bloomberg News following strong full-year results on Thursday. “I assume down the line, we will consider different options as the U.S. becomes more meaningful, and definitely if it continues to trade at these kinds of multiples.”

888 is also looking for media and brand deals that could boost its U.S. presence, and the company would consider joining up with European operators as well as any takeover approaches it might receive, Pazner said.

For now, the company is focused on expanding the business and doesn’t expect to make any immediate decisions, Pazner said. “We’re in contact with bankers and advisers, and there are many ideas that are floating out there,” he said.

888’s shares have risen nearly 400% in the last year as online gambling has surged in popularity, boosted by Covid-19 lockdowns. In the U.S., the industry is surging following the legalization of sports betting by the Supreme Court in 2018. That’s fueled a spate of trans-Atlantic deals in the sector. Ireland-based Flutter Entertainment Plc said this week it’s looking at options including an IPO for its U.S. business FanDuel Inc.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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