Clearwater International advises Playnation on sale to Novomatic

Clearwater International has advised Playnation, a leading UK supplier of amusement and entertainment machines, on its cross-border sale to Novomatic Group, one of the largest integrated conglomerates of the international gaming industry.

The Runcorn-based business, which currently employs over 700 staff, owns and operates 20,000 amusement and entertainment machines across over 1,700 sites in the UK. The business partners with high profile names in the leisure sector across holiday parks, motorway services, bowling centres and airports, with well-established clients including Bourne Leisure, Park Resorts, Parkdean, Moto, Welcome Break and Roadchef.

The company was established in 2013, following a management buyout backed by Palatine Private Equity – a deal which Clearwater also advised on. Since then it has grown exponentially, recently securing an extension on its contract with MOTO, the UK’s largest provider of motorway service areas.

Novomatic Group, founded in 1980, comprises affiliated companies in 50 countries and exports high-tech gaming equipment to more than 80 jurisdictions. The firm operates over 232,000 gaming machines across more than 1,500 group operations including casinos and betting shops, and achieved a turnover of more than €3.8bn in 2014. In addition to its headquarters in Austria, the company has production facilities and research and development centres in Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK.

With its specialism in family entertainment machines, the acquisition of Playnation provides Novomatic Group with an opportunity to break into new markets and expand its offering to the consumer across the EU. Playnation will now have access to the enormous client base at Novomatic’s disposal and can capitalise on growth opportunities both in the UK and overseas.