GVC Holdings PLC (LSE: GVC), the multinational sports betting and gaming group, announces that along with multiple other online gaming operators, one of the Group’s subsidiaries operating under a Greek interim gaming licence has received a tax audit assessment (the “Assessment”) from the Greek Audit Centre for Large Enterprises (the “Authority”) in respect of 2010 and 2011 (the “Period”).
During the Period the business was owned by Sportingbet plc, prior to its acquisition by GVC in 2013. The total amount of the Assessment is €186.77m, substantially higher by multiples of the total Greek revenues generated by the subsidiary during the Period.
Legal and tax advice has been received from the Group’s Greek professional advisers and this sets out that the Group’s subsidiary has strong grounds to appeal the Assessment and it will, therefore, file an appeal. As currently there is no formal settlement mechanism, the appeal process is expected to be conducted through the Greek courts.
In the interim, to enable the Group’s subsidiary to continue to trade normally, it intends to enter into a payment scheme with the Authority whereby funds are paid to the Authority and held on account (subject to agreement with the Authority) of approximately €7.8m a month over the next 24 months. Entering into such an arrangement is not an admission that the Assessment is correct and the Group will seek to recover such payments.
The Board strongly disputes the basis of the Assessment calculation, believing the assessed quantum to be widely exaggerated and is confident in the grounds of appeal. However, given the Group subsidiary has to go through an appeal process, the Board believes it prudent at this juncture to make a provision of approximately €200m in GVC’s 2017 financial accounts to cover the Period and up to the end of 2017.
The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
For further information:
|GVC Holdings PLC|
|Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive||Tel: +44 (0) 1624 652 559|
|Paul Miles, Chief Financial Officer||Tel: +44 (0) 20 3938 0079|
|Nick Batram, Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Strategy||Tel: +44 (0) 20 3938 0066|
|David Rydell/Henry Harrison-Topham/Chris Lane||Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5066|
About GVC Holdings PLC
GVC Holdings PLC is a leading e-gaming operator in both B2C and B2B markets. GVC has four business segments with a number of brands; Sports Brands (bwin, Sportingbet, Gamebookers), Games Brands (partypoker, partycasino, Foxy Bingo, Gioco Digitale, CasinoClub), B2B and non-core assets. GVC acquired bwin.party digital entertainment plc on 1 February 2016. The Group is headquartered in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index and has licences in more than 18 countries.
For more information see the Group’s website: www.gvc-plc.com