French firm purchases Premier Lotteries Ireland and holds exclusive rights to operate Irish lottery until 2034
La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has finalised its €350m (£303.5m) acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, An Post and An Post Pension Fund.
The confirmation of the transaction follows the July news that PLI had granted the French operator permission to secure the majority of its shares.
The acquisition is FDJ’s first attempt at operating a lottery outside of France and lines up with its strategy to be “an international B2C operator in lottery, sports betting and online gaming”.
FDJ now holds the exclusive rights to operate the Irish lottery until 2034.
Stéphane Pallez, FDJ CEO, said: “La Française des Jeux has opened a new chapter in its history by fulfilling its ambition to expand its international presence as a lottery and online gaming operator.
“The synergies between FDJ and Premier Lotteries Ireland will draw on our respective and acknowledged skills to offer people in Ireland a recreational, responsible range of games,” she added.
Andrew Algeo, PLI CEO, commented: “FDJ’s backing marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in PLI’s history, which will benefit Ireland’s National Lottery and its many stakeholders.
“I am grateful to both Ontario Teachers’ and An Post who have been generous supporters of PLI, and the National Lottery has grown substantially and sustainably on their watch.
“The PLI team looks forward to further improving the Irish National Lottery with FDJ and contributing to FDJ’s international lottery expansion,” he concluded.
In 2022, PLI reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of €399m, with net gaming revenue of €140m and a comparable adjusted EBITDA margin to the FDJ.
The firm employs over 200 people and draw games make up two-thirds of its sales, with instant-win games making up the remainder.
FDJ will now look to accelerate PLI’s growth and boost profitability, based on both operators’ best practices while improving its instant-win portfolio and the digital experience for Irish players.
Last month, FDJ also completed the purchase of horseracing operator ZEturf while also reporting a 4% year-on-year increase in turnover for the nine months to the end of September.