How to sell your affiliate business or website – was one of the most interesting sessions we attended at SiGMA 2017.
Affiliates are in the business of earning money every month from affiliate networks and operators. Growing traffic and directing these players to the casino operators will make good money from CPAs, rev-share or hybrid model deals.
For some affiliates, this is an excellent life – as they can grow at whatever rate they want or enjoy life as is.
At some point in time, an affiliate might consider selling their business, or better still, they might get approached by a large affiliate network such as Catena Media with an offer to buy. There have been many mergers and acquisitions recently, with cheques changing hands for millions of euros (or £’s for us in the UK).
I listened carefully to the panel at SiGMA as they spoke about the legal elements of M&A’s and noted numerous advice tips from the panel members from Gambling.com Group and XL Media Group as they talked about what they look for in an acquisition.
Our Top 10 tips for affiliates looking to sell eventually:
- Secure the best rev-share deals you can; don’t rely only on CPA deals. A buyer wants to know that they have a continual revenue pipeline after you sell your affiliate site. CPA deals mean they still have to win new players every day, so it is not as attractive to them
- When you start consistently generating 100,000 euros per month, you become interesting. Affiliate networks may want to speak to you at this point
- It is better to generate 100,000 euros from one site each month rather than generating 100,000 euros from 50 sites – why? Because the buyer will only have to integrate one website into their backend infrastructure, which is easier and cheaper than having to take over 50 websites
- Keep your overheads as small as possible. Try to operate your affiliate business with the minimum number of people possible. Again, when a network or operator comes along, they want to buy highly profitable businesses to get a quicker return on investment. Having to deal with big teams of staff means your profits are not as good and they have to consider all these staff members, i.e. what do they need to pay to make them redundant
- The legal teams and accountants are looking at your EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). This is what they base their multipliers on when they are valuing your business. So make sure your financial accounts are up-to-date and clean
- Only operate in white markets; some grey markets are acceptable – but do not operate in black markets. Buyers are not interested in those affiliates in the black market. It is too messy for them and puts their reputation and licenses at risk
- Another factor that buyers consider is “asset” or “share” purchases. Make the structure of your business as clean and simple as possible so that when they do come along to buy you, it is easier to buy the asset (which might be your main website) or the company (the shares) which holds all the IPR for you
- Be prepared for long and arduous due diligence exercises. These legal firms know what they are looking for and want to make sure the deal is sound and on a legal standing before money is exchanged
- Be honest and transparent with the due diligence team. If there are some things you are not proud of sharing with them, it is best to be open at the start of the conversation, as they will find out eventually. This could lose you millions of euros if they find out later and stop the deal or re-evaluate – reducing the offer by a sizable amount
- Finally, only sell if you want to. Many affiliates have rejected several millions of euros or sterling offers because they are making a good living every month from their sites.
Share Your Experience
If you are an affiliate, affiliate network or operator who has been involved in an acquisition, we would like to hear from you so we can share your experience on Betting Punter.
If you want to know about tip no.11 – which is possibly the best tip we can give now. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the answer.