Evolution Gaming has submitted a SEK19.6bn ($2.13bn) proposal to buyout NetEnt AB seeking to become the lead games distributor for regulated US market states.
The proposed transaction sees Evolution offer 0.1306 shares for each share in NetEnt, valuing each at SEK 79.93 ($8.60) and all shares in the firm to approximately SEK 19.6bn.
The consideration per share represents a premium of 43 per cent on the closing price of NetEnt shares listed the on Nasdaq Stockholm on June 23, 2020.
Evolution has stated that it will not increase the offer, in which the company targets securing 90% of NetEnt’s Stockholm shareholding. NetEnt investors have been given an acceptance period to commence on August 17, 2020 and expire on or around October 26, 2020.
Mathias Hedlund, chairman of NetEnt, explained: “Recently, NetEnt has vastly improved its tech and product development capabilities and thereby its growth prospects and at the same time reaching a strong position within the US states that have opened up for online casino.
“With this deal, there are unique possibilities to shape a leading global B2B provider of online casino, taking advantage of the market development with continued digitalisation and strong growth, especially in North America.
“Evolution’s position within live casino combined with NetEnt’s position within online slots will create a company well-positioned to take significant market shares. Through this transaction, a new chapter in the development of more entertaining online casino begins, in the best interest of players, operators, employees and shareholders.”
The board stated that it views a combination of NetEnt and Evolution Gaming as a ‘positive’ move and believes that the acquisition would be ‘strategically sound’. It added that ‘the share consideration allows the company’s shareholders to take part of the combined accelerated growth story and combination benefits’.
Jens von Bahr, chairman of Evolution, explained: “This strategic deal marks a significant step towards Evolution’s long-term vision of becoming the global market leader in the online casino industry.
“The combination of Evolution’s strong offering in live casino with NetEnt’s leading position in online slots will result in a world class portfolio of online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base.