Lahcene Merzoug on PressEnter's management buyout
Fresh from announcing a management buyout, PressEnter CEO Lahcene Merzoug talks to iGB about the new leadership’s strategy and future plans.
So, the cat is out the bag; PressEnter Group will be under new (or should we say old?) management.
There are many questions that remain – will the new chairman stay the course or head to uncharted waters? What form will the shape of the business’s future growth take? And what’s the plan with the company’s brands?
The business formerly known as Betpoint has reinvented itself before, though only the new owners know what the plan is now. Current CEO and future executive chair Lahcene Merzoug explains in his own words.
What was the rationale behind the management buyout, and what important factors led the executive team to decide to go down this route?
The management team has grown the business into what it is today, so we could clearly see the potential in the company and its operations. When the opportunity to buy PressEnter Group arose, the team quickly came together to put an offer on the table.
It was an easy decision for me and the management team to make, as we strongly believe in the company and its future. We can now lead PressEnter Group from the front and into the next chapter of its story.
How did the management team pitch the scheme to investors? Did the current macroeconomic climate impact the process?
We truly believed that we were the best placed to take over the business and continue to drive it forwards – the senior management team knows the business inside out and where the most impactful opportunities lie.
The current macroeconomic environment is challenging, but we firmly believe that we have brands and products that appeal to players in markets around the world. Our highly skilled, highly experienced workforce also has what it takes to ensure that we not only meet but exceed player expectations, both in good times and those that are more challenging.
You say how confident you are with the business’ growth potential – would you be able to elaborate on which markets PressEnter is particularly strong in? Where do you see scope for expansion going forward?
We have a great presence in all the regulated markets where we hold a license such as Malta, Romania and Ontario and now with a new strategy in place, will unlock further growth in these jurisdictions. We will also push ahead into new and emerging markets – including Peru and Chile with additional launches set for the coming months.
The regulatory landscape is changing, so a big part of our revised strategy is ensuring that we remain on top of requirements and can quickly and easily adapt if we need to.
What would you say is PressEnter’s USP in the market?
We have incredibly strong brands and products, which make for the backbone of the business. Our UX and the experience we offer to players are second to none. As a business, we are extremely agile which means we can adapt to changing customer needs and market trends almost instantly, and this ensures that we are always ahead of the game.
We are also confident that the team we have in place is one of the best in the business, and each member is just as passionate about PressEnter Group and as determined to achieve the goals set as the management team.
The release states that the team will be “reviewing existing strategies and processes to maximise new opportunities” – are there any “low-hanging fruit” in the way the business has been run that the team see as particularly ripe for reform?
In the short term, we will maximise revenues from current markets and streamline operations to align with what the business needs. We have already identified areas where we can make small tweaks and changes that will have a big, positive impact on revenues.
Long-term, we have ambitions to enter new jurisdictions and adding more online casinos and sportsbooks to our roster of sites. We know our strengths and will grow the business based on these.
Are there any plans to gain access to the capital markets, through a listing?
There are no immediate plans to list PressEnter Group. We want to deploy the new strategy the management team has put in place, and to achieve our targets and goals first.
Could you elaborate on any specific plans for any of PressEnter’s existing brands?
We are constantly working to improve the experience players receive at our existing brands by adding more games, payment options and exciting features. [This is because] want to provide players with an engaging and entertaining experience so that they keep coming back for more.
We will also continue to launch new brands as this has proved to be a winning formula for growing the businesses – we have some big news in the pipeline that we will be announcing over the coming months.
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