Italian gaming group Sisal picks banks for IPO in early 2022 - sources

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian gaming group Sisal has picked Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and UniCredit to arrange an initial public offering at the beginning of next year, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Sisal, which was bought by private equity firm CVC in 2016, plans to list on the Milan Stock Exchange in the first quarter of next year, the sources added.

The Milan-based group reported a 26% rise year on year in first-half revenue to 263.6 million euros ($308.75 million) as online gaming more than offset a decline in the retail activities, which were impacted by lockdowns. First-half core profit rose nearly 50% to 99.5 million euros.

CVC, which will sell part of its shares in the deal, eyes a valuation equal to 11-12 times the group’s core earnings, which could value Sisal at least 2.2 billion euros, a source said.

CVC, Sisal and the three banks declined to comment.

Sisal, which gets most of its revenues from Italy, has expanded abroad, obtaining concessions for the retail and online gaming business in Turkey, Morocco and Spain. The group is also in the race to run the UK National Lottery.

This would be the second attempt for Sisal to go public. In 2014 the Italian gaming group pulled plans for an initial public offering due to unfavourable market conditions.

Heating solutions group Ariston Thermo and make-up supplier Intercos are also planning to go public in the next few months, marking a revival for the Milan bourse, at which only three smaller companies debuted on the main market so far this year.

($1 = 0.8538 euros)

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, Editing by Louise Heavens