Evolution Gaming tables ‘game changing’ €1.8bn buyout of NetEnt 

The board of NetEnt AB has confirmed that it has accepted an SEK 19.6bn (€1.8bn) acquisition offer put forward by Evolution Gaming AB. 

The offer, priced at SEK 79.93 (€7) per share, will see Evolution move to acquire 90% of NetEnt’s corporate shareholding.

Evolution’s intended offer represents a premium of 43% on NetEnt’s closing SEK 56.10 share price on the Nasdaq Stockholm Exchange as of 23 June.

The business combination is expected to achieve combined cost savings of €30 million per year, in which Evolution stated that NetEnt’s assets will achieve a positive effect on its earnings per share value by 2021.

Jens von Bahr, Chairman of Evolution Gaming, commented on the transaction: “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.”

Lauding a ‘landmark’ deal in accelerating Evolution’s long-term ambition of ‘becoming the world leader in the online gaming industry’, the combined product portfolio will include live casino and online slots games, and generate revenue upsides through cross-selling and improved distribution via both companies’ customer bases, with closer customer partnerships and additional geographical spread of the companies’ products said to be achievable as result.

The combination will also allow the newly combined entities to leverage a strong position within the US states that have opened their markets for igaming services.

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.”  

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