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Gaming1 goes down private lender route as public gamble falls flat

Gaming1 has decided to pull its public syndication and instead market a EUR 300m financing backing its acquisition by CVC Partners to direct lenders, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The move comes after the TLB failed to gain enough traction to get it over the line at the price being offered.

The BB/B1 rated Belgian omnichannel gaming company began marketing a EUR 300m seven-year cov-lite term loan B through Bank of America and Macquarie on 22 June with commitments due on 6 July, as reported. Since then, however, there have been no updates.

As of Tuesday (12 July) there had been no changes to the syndication plans, according to a fourth source familiar. However, the company is now looking to raise the money from direct lenders, the first three sources said.

The timing of the public syndication proved unfortunate for Gaming1. At the same time as it was offering its TLB at an OID of 95, the larger and more well-known peer 888 was marketing a six-year FRN as part of a dual-tranche bond offering to finance its acquisition of William Hill at an OID of 85, as reported.

“They rushed it out to get it ahead of 888 and got completely torpedoed by it,” commented the first source.

Although there were a few small concerns around the credit, such as revenue concentration and regulatory uncertainty in its growth markets, the main factor putting some buysiders off the syndication was the fact that Gaming1 was a debut name offering a deal of limited size, and therefore low liquidity, at a time of heightened market volatility, as reported.

Bank of America, CVC Partners and Macquarie declined to comment. Gaming1 did not respond to a request for comment.