Irish National Lottery sign; operator Premier Lotteries Ireland appoints new Chair
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Groupe FDJ completed a significant step in its international expansion this morning by finalising its acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), operator of the Irish National Lottery.

The state-backed operator of France’s National Lottery and a Paris Euronext-listed group, FDJ secured terms to acquire PLI on 28 July and has now completed the purchase of 100% of the Irish firm’s shares.

Having completed this step, FDJ now plans to overhaul PLI’s lottery systems and revamp the 5,300 points-of-sale across its nationwide network. Additional areas of focus include PLI’s commercial operations and enhancing the Irish National Lotteries online offering.

FDJ noted that digital sales make up 15% of PLI’s total stakes and highlighted this as an area for improvement. With PLI’s contract on the Irish lottery in place until 2034, FDJ has ample time to make its planned adjustments.

Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ, said: “FDJ is opening a new chapter in its history by realising its ambition to expand its international presence as a lottery and online gaming operator.

“The synergies between FDJ and Premier Lotteries Ireland will rely on our respective and recognised expertise to market to the Irish public a recreational and responsible gaming offer.”

FDJ has mapped out a strategic plan to boost growth and profitability for PLI, with the French firm aiming toenhance the instant game portfolio and boost player acquisition and retention by improving digital experiences.

PLI accounts will be included in FDJ’s wider group financial reporting from Q4 trading. In 2022, PLI achieved gross gaming revenue of €399m and a net income of €140mm, with an EBITDA margin that aligns with FDJ’s current financial performance.

According to the latest accounts from the Autorité nationale des jeux (ANJ) regulator, lottery revenue is making more and more of a contribution to FDJ’s performance, and the report specifically highlighted the future significance of the PLI takeover.

Andrew Algeo, who will continue as CEO of PLI, remarked: “FDJ’s support opens an exciting new chapter in PLI’s history, which will benefit the Irish national lottery and its many stakeholders,” Algeo commented.

“I am grateful to our shareholders Ontario Teachers’ and An Post for their support, which has enabled the national lottery to experience sustained and durable growth.

“The PLI team is looking forward to partnering with FDJ for an even more successful Irish national lottery and to contribute to FDJ’s international expansion in the lottery sector.”

The acquisition is also significant for the former owner of PLI, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTTP). The offloading of PLI marks the end of the group’s activity in the European lottery sector, having previously owned Camelot, which was sold to incoming UK National Lottery operator Allwyn.