The governance of Zeal Network has responded to yesterday’s open letter published by Lottoland CEO, Nigel Birrell urging Zeal shareholders to reject the firm’s approved takeover of German competitor Lotto24 AG.
Representing Lottoland as a shareholder of Zeal, Birrell questioned the valuation, legitimacy, management and due diligence of a Lotto24 takeover, stating that should the transaction be processed it would lead to ‘value destruction’ for all Zeal stakeholders.
In his statement, Birrell demanded that Zeal’s leadership duo of Dr Helmut Becker (CEO) and Jonas Mattson (CFO) answer nine critical questions, bringing clarity to the takeover.
Birrell would end the letter by stating that Lottoland would submit an alternative offer this January for certain assets of Zeal.
Responding to Lottoland criticism, “Zeal believes that the intention behind the comments is to interfere with the planned takeover of Lotto24 and spread uncertainty. Given Lottoland’s obvious position as a direct competitor, Zeal cautions all shareholders to treat their comments with due scepticism.”
In its update, Zeal states that all relevant takeover information on benefits, cost synergies, strategies and diligence have been made available at Zeal-offer.com for shareholders.
Dr Helmut Becker, CEO, ZEAL, commented: “We firmly believe that of the alternatives we have considered, our proposal to reunite ZEAL and Lotto24 has the strongest strategic rationale, offers the best opportunity for sustainable growth and creates the most value for ZEAL’s shareholders.
Strong opposition from a competing secondary lottery operator is clear and compelling evidence that our transaction is the best way forward for our company and our shareholders.”