Bally’s Corporation Confirms $2.74bn Acquisition of Gamesys Group After Agreeing Definitive Terms

  • Bally’s will pay £18.50 ($25.46) in cash for each Gamesys share in a deal valued at $2.74bn
  • The combined group will capitalize on US sports betting and online market growth opportunities
  • UK casino and bingo operator Gamesys reported a 27% year-on-year revenue rise for Q1
  • The acquisition continues Bally’s expansion after it purchased Bet.Works, Monkey Knife Fight
holographic image of the globe in front of businessman signing contract
Bally’s Corporation is to continue its market expansion after it confirmed the deal to acquire Gamesys Group. [Image:]

Parties agree on definitive terms

Bally’s Corporation will acquire UK gaming operator Gamesys Group after the two companies reached a definitive agreement.

Under Rule 2.7 of the UK Takeover Code, the US-based casino operator will acquire the entire issued and outstanding share capital in Gamesys. The sale will be implemented through a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement, as per Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006.

Premium price for Gamesys shares

The deal will see Bally pay £18.50 ($25.46) in cash for each Gamesys share, which represents a premium of 14.4% to the operator’s closing price of £16.42 ($22.60) per share on March 23. That was the day before the original announcement of a potential combination of the two companies, with the offer valued at $2.74bn and the key terms of the acquisition agreed at the time.

offer valued at $2.74bn

The terms also represent a 41.2% premium on the closing price per Gamesys share of £13.30 ($18.31) on January 25, 2021, the last trading day before Bally’s initial proposal to the operator. As outlined in the initial agreement, the deal will give Gamesys shareholders the option to receive new shares in Bally for its shares in Gamesys, priced at 0.343 per Bally share.

To help fund the deal, Bally’s has entered into a loan which will be provided by Deutsche Bank’s London Branch, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays Bank. The operator mentioned that it intends to finance the bridge loan and Gamesys’ debt through capital market transactions, which could include Bally’s shares.

Both companies to benefit

According to the directors of both companies, the combination is expected to bring long-term value for the two, in line with their future growth strategies.

group to capitalize on growth opportunities in the US sports betting and online market

According to a statement confirming the agreement, Bally’s chair Soo Kim believes that the combination marks a “transformational step” in the company’s journey. He said the deal will allow the group to capitalize on growth opportunities in the US sports betting and online market.

Gamesys chairman Neil Goulden added that the “combination would give unique optionality to Gamesys shareholders.” On the same day of the confirmation of the acquisition, Gamesys also announced a 27% year-on-year increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2021, up to £197.8m ($271.5m). The operator attributed the rise to strong growth in the UK and Asia, saying it follows on from its 75% rise in revenue for the full-year 2020 to £727.7m ($999.2m).

Gamesys chief executive Lee Fenton will hold the same position at the combined group once the takeover is completed. Bally’s chief executive George Papanier will remain on the board to run the operator’s land-based casinos.

Bally’s continues its expansion

With Bally’s expanding its footprint in the land-based and online market in the US, Gamesys looks to benefit from market access available through Bally’s operations in key states. Meanwhile, Bally’s will utilize Gamesys’ technology platform, management team, and UK expertise of the operator of Virgin Casino, Jackpot Joy, and other online casino and bingo brands in the UK.

The acquisition is one of a number by Bally’s, as it continues its expansion after rebranding from Twin River Worldwide Holdings last November. Shortly after, Bally’s agreed on a deal to acquire sports betting platform Bet.Works for up to $125m. In March, it announced its completed takeover of daily fantasy sports operator Monkey Knife Fight.

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