Merger CRHC.U

Cohn Robbins SPAC, Lottery Firm Allwyn Said to Discuss Deal

, Bloomberg

Cohn Robbins Holdings Corp., the blank-check firm led by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Gary Cohn and Clifton Robbins, has held talks to merge with Allwyn, a Europe-focused lottery operator which also has digital-gaming and sports-betting businesses, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Cohn Robbins special purpose acquisition company has attempted to raise a so-called private investment in public equity, or PIPE, to support the transaction, the people said. A transaction size couldn’t immediately be learned. A deal hasn’t been finalized and if one is reached, it’s not expected to be until January at the earliest.

Cohn Robbins and Allwyn representatives declined to comment.

Allwyn operates in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus and Italy, markets that it says have a total adult population of more than 91 million. The firm, formerly called Sazka Entertainment, is the parent company of Sazka Group AS, which has about 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in pro-rata net debt, according to company filings. In March, affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. closed on an investment of 500 million euros in Sazka Entertainment.

Cohn left his post as president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs to be President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser from 2017 to 2018. Robbins is best known for founding activist hedge fund Blue Harbour Group in 2004, before shuttering the firm in 2020. He previously held senior roles at KKR & Co. and General Atlantic.

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