Evolution’s acquisition of NetEnt has been given the green light from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) almost two months after an investigation was launched to analyse if the transaction would lessen the competition in the region’s igaming market.
Launching its investigation in September, the competition watchdog announced that it would be launching an inquiry in response to merger concerns, before inviting comments on the purchase by any interested party.
Interested parties were given until 5 October to submit their comments, after which the CMA began its ‘phase one’ analysis stage, undertaking an assessment of whether to continue onto further ‘stage-2’ marketplace analysis or close the inquiry and accept the transaction.
Evolution offered the following update: “The CMA has today, on November 16, 2020, announced its approval of Evolution’s acquisition of NetEnt. Consequently, the condition regarding the receipt of all necessary competition approvals has been fulfilled.
“The other conditions for completion of the offer, which are included in the offer document that was published on August 20, 2020, remain unchanged and are still applicable.
“The acceptance period for the offer expires on November 20, 2020. Assuming that the offer is declared unconditional no later than around November 23, 2020, settlement is expected to commence around December 1, 2020. Evolution reserves the right to extend the acceptance period for the Offer and to postpone the settlement date.”
In June 2020, NetEnt accepted an SEK 19.6bn (€1.8bn) acquisition offer put forward by Evolution Gaming, meaning Evolution would acquire 90% of NetEnt’s corporate shareholding at SEK 79.93 (€7) per share.
The offered consideration per share represents a premium of 43 per cent compared to the closing price of the NetEnt share of series B on Nasdaq Stockholm on June 23, 2020.
The acquisition has already gained a seal of approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority on 29 September 2020.
Evolution had initially expressed an expectation of closing the transaction on November 2, with an acceptance period commencing on August 17, 2020 and expiring on or around October 26, 2020.