Evolution Gaming Makes $2.1bn Offer to Buy NetEnt

  • Evolution Gaming proposes exchanging 0.1306 of its shares for each NetEnt share
  • NetEnt board has advised shareholders to support the deal
  • The bid price is a 43% premium over NetEnt’s closing share price on June 23
  • Evolution says it will not make a higher bid and NetEnt will have until about October 26 to accept
man opening briefcase full of money
Evolution Gaming has made an all-stock offer to buy online gaming software developer NetEnt for $2.1bn. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A significant bid

Evolution Gaming has made a bid to buy online gaming software developer NetEnt for SEK 19.6bn ($2.1bn)

The live dealer online casino leader’s proposal would exchange 0.1306 Evolution shares per NetEnt share. This would value each NetEnt share at SEK 79.93 ($8.58), for a total share value of SEK 19.6bn ($2.1bn).

43% premium over the company’s closing price on June 23

The NetEnt board has recommended that shareholders vote to accept the offer. The offered price for the NetEnt shares is a 43% premium over the company’s closing price on June 23 on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. 

Notable milestones

Evolution stated that it will not make a higher offer and that the period to accept the offer begins on August 17 and will end on or around October 26. As with any merger, the deal will have to get regulatory approval. 

Enough shareholders will need to accept the offer so that Evolution Gaming owns more than 90% of NetEnt’s total outstanding shares. If Evolution hits this mark, it plans to start a compulsory buy-out procedure for the remaining shares as per the Swedish Companies Act.

According to a Nasdaq report, a number of large NetEnt shareholders that own about 45% of the company have already accepted the offer.

Cost savings

Evolution Gaming expects to save an estimated €30m ($33.81m) each year after acquiring NetEnt. This figure was calculated using the costs for both companies during the first quarter of 2020.

The estimate includes the SEK 150m ($16.1m) worth of costs savings that NetEnt previously disclosed, set to be fully realized next year.

Evolution has seen particularly strong growth this year, with net profit increasing in the first quarter by 89% as it looks to expand its US footprint.

Plans to own online gambling

NetEnt’s chairman Mathias Hedlund said of the offer: “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 digitalization and strong growth, especially in North America.”

He went on to speak about the significant market share that could be taken, as NetEnt is already a significant player in the online casino space just as Evolution is in the live dealer games sector. 

will result in a world class portfolio of online games”

Evolution Gaming’s co-founder and chairman Jens von Bahr added in a statement: “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.”

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