Allwyn, the next operator of the UK National Lottery, has confirmed talks are at an ‘advanced’ stage with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) to acquire Camelot’s UK operations.
According to Sky News, an agreement could be struck ‘in the coming weeks’ in a deal worth in the region of £100m.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which earlier this year named Allwyn as the preferred applicant to take over Camelot’s National Lottery licence in February 2024, is understood to have been informed about the discussions.
A joint statement between Allwyn and Camelot read: “In response to speculation, we can confirm that Allwyn is engaged in advanced discussions with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) which may lead to it purchasing Camelot’s UK operations.
“If an agreement were to be reached, it would be subject to regulatory approvals.
“Our shared objective is to reach an agreement which would best serve the interests of the many stakeholders of The National Lottery, in particular the good causes it supports as well as the employees of Camelot and Allwyn UK.”
If completed, the deal would give Allwyn access to Camelot’s UK earnings roughly a year before it surrenders control of the franchise and, crucially, it would also trigger the withdrawal of Camelot’s outstanding legal challenge against the regulator over the decision to replace it with Allwyn in 16 months’ time.
Camelot withdrew its appeal against the licence award in September, paving the way for an official handover of operations, but said it would proceed with a separate claim for compensation.
That would probably be withdrawn if Allwyn buys Camelot’s UK arm, while the deal would likely guarantee Camelot’s full cooperation with Allwyn in the period leading up to the licence transition.