Ownership of the Irish National Lottery looks to be changing hands from Canada to France after Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board announced a ‘definitive agreement’ had been struck to sell its majority shareholding in Premier Lotteries Ireland to La Française des Jeux.
OTPP spent $598.9m on a 20-year licence to operate the franchise back in 2014, but hired Swiss bank UBS earlier this year to advise on its sale.
This follows the recent sales of Camelot UK and Camelot Lottery Solutions to global operator Allwyn as OTPP continues to withdraw from the lottery market.
Now, four months after The Times reported the Canadian pension fund’s desire to sell PLI, Ontario Teachers’ has confirmed a deal with FDJ which will see the French lottery and online gaming operator 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, with the total cost of the deal reported to be in the region of $510.9m, according to the Irish Times.
Vivienne Jupp, Chair of PLI, commented: “PLI has moved from strength to strength since winning the licence for the Irish National Lottery. I would like to thank Ontario Teachers’ and An Post for their support in building PLI into a leading European operator in the period since 2014.
“During that time, the team at PLI has delivered for Good Causes and the community and looks forward to the next chapter of growth, where we will be able to share best practices with FDJ and continue to operate a responsible world-class lottery for the people of Ireland.”
Since being awarded the licence to operate the Irish National Lottery, PLI has raised over $2.7bn for Good Causes, with 2021 and 2022 being the most successful years in that regard.
Iñaki Echave, Senior Managing Director at OTPP, added: “We’re honoured to have partnered with An Post and the PLI team over the last nine years to create an even better lottery for Ireland. We’d like to thank the leadership team and PLI employees for their contribution.
“As long-term investors, we aim to build stronger companies that create value for the communities they serve and PLI has generated record levels of sales and contributions to Good Causes.
“We also care about entrusting the company to the right new owner and believe that a highly reputed international, like-minded lottery company as FDJ is well positioned to help PLI continue its success story.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.