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​An Post, Ontario Teachers finalise €400m deal for Irish lottery

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The An Post Superannuation Scheme, one of Ireland’s largest, has finalised a deal that will see it team up with a Canadian pension fund to run the country’s national lottery.

A consortium, also consisting of the CAD130bn (€80.6bn) Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and An Post itself, was first named as the preferred applicant for the 20-year licence last October, with the Irish government initially hoping the €405m agreement would be signed by the end of the year.

The minister for public expenditure and reform, Brendan Howlin, said he was “very pleased” with the outcome of the tender, which brought together “valuable domestic experience” and the international expertise of OTPP.

Howlin, a Labour TD, added: “Premier Lotteries will grow the business in a responsible manner, and we can look forward to a greater annual revenue stream for Good Causes.”

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An Post previously oversaw the operation of the Irish National Lottery, while OTPP acquired the operator behind Britain’s national lottery provider, Camelot Group, in 2010.

The consortium, joint owners of the lottery’s new management company Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), said it expected to pay the first half of the €405m licence fee to the government in the coming days.

Details of the exact ownership structure of the company are unclear, with a statement by OTPP only noting that An Post and its underfunded pension funds held minority stakes.

The government confirmed the second tranche of the licence fee would be due for payment before the end of the current calendar year.

Lee Sienna, vice-president of long-term equities at OTPP and chairman of PLI, said he would be working with his Irish partners to grow sales.

He added: “The Irish licence is a significant milestone in our strategy of building a leadership position in the international lottery sector.”

Dermot Griffin, the chief executive designate for Premier Lotteries, meanwhile emphasised that a growth in sales would allow an increase in funding for charitable causes, as 65% of gross revenue is earmarked for such purposes.

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