Napoleon Sports & Casino, the Belgian leader in on and offline gaming, today announces that its majority shareholder Waterland Fund V has entered into an agreement to sell its stake in Napoleon Sports & Casino to the Superbet group, a leading pan-European sports betting and gaming business, backed by the private equity fund Blackstone Group. The acquisition by Superbet will give Napoleon Sports & Casino access to the scale and capabilities to grow faster in the broad and competitive European landscape.
The Superbet group is a pan-European betting and gaming operator founded in 2008. The company is headquartered in Bucharest and has offices in Romania, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Poland, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. The group is led by an experienced and international team with significant industry experience.
Over the past 6 years, Napoleon Sports & Casino has been owned by the European private equity group Waterland, who acquired a majority stake in 2015. In this time frame, Napoleon Sports & Casino developed into the market reference in both online and offline gaming in Belgium.
Regarding the transaction, Waterland’s Managing Partner Cedric Van Cauwenberghe said: “The fruitful collaboration with the Napoleon team has allowed Napoleon to expand its position online, unlocking a growth trajectory that resulted in market leadership in Belgium today. I am convinced that Napoleon will continue to thrive within the Superbet group, and that the partnership with Superbet will result in a wealth of opportunities for both organizations.”
Johnny Hartnett, CEO of SuperBet said: “Napoleon’s core market and brand positioning in Belgium represents the ideal acquisition opportunity to deliver on our global expansion plan. It also delivers on our growth strategy of bringing in additional revenues from regulated markets with a strong online profile. Additionally, we’re looking forward to welcome a hugely experienced and talented team to the Superbet family, who we believe are exceptionally well placed to deliver on market share gains in Belgium and beyond.”
Napoleon Sports & Casino’s Belgian management team will remain in place, operating from Aalst, combining and sharing their own expertise with Superbet’s knowledge and resources. This new chapter will allow Napoleon to expand its global reach without having to detach from its Belgian roots which were established 40 years ago.
Tim De Borle, CEO of Napoleon Sports & Casino’s online division said: “We are very excited to be joining Superbet Group on a mission to offer the best sports and gaming entertainment to millions of users. The fact that Superbet and Napoleon are both data-driven and entrepreneurial companies focused on delivering innovative on- and offline entertainment for our players, makes me confident that this a perfect match. At Napoleon, we look forward to embark on this this next chapter of thrilling projects and international experience.
Finally, I’d like to express our gratitude to Waterland for their support in the past 6 years.”
Napoleon Sports & Casino is not Superbet’s first acquisition. In 2020, Superbet acquired a 60% stake in online casino operator Lucky7 to expand its reach in the online gaming segment. The recent acquisitions come as evidence of Superbet’s ambition to become a leading global operator, a vision which attracted a €175 mln minority investment from Blackstone Group in 2019.
Blackstone is one of the world's leading investment firms. The Blackstone team seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for investors, the companies Blackstone invests in, and the communities in which Blackstone works. Its asset management businesses, with more than $512 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis.
Over the past years, Superbet has grown into one of the largest operators and providers of online entertainment in Central and Eastern Europe and the company now seeks to accelerate its growth in Western Europe as well. Given the strong growth trajectory and the inhouse expertise of Napoleon, Superbet considered it the perfect partner for future growth of the entire Group.