Evolution takes full control of NetEnt

Evolution takes full control of NetEnt

Evolution Gaming has taken its total shareholding in NetEnt to approximately 96.8% of the outstanding shares, following the expiry of its ‘extended acceptance period’ to buyout the Stockholm-listed casino games developer.

Evolution’s acquisition of NetEnt had previously been given the green light from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), having also cleared the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority hurdle on 29 September.

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.

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.

On 23 November, Evolution confirmed that its acquisition offer had been declared unconditional, that the offer had been completed and that the acceptance period had been extended until 30 November.

In its latest update, Evolution has revealed that the offer has now closed, and the company has ‘initiated a compulsory buy-out procedure in accordance with the Swedish Companies Act for the purpose of acquiring those shares not submitted in the offer’.

Furthermore, NetEnt has also applied for the delisting of its shares from Nasdaq Stockholm, with the last day for trading to be published when the stock exchange has made a decision.

Through the takeover, which will see NetEnt operate under the Evolution banner, Evolution will undertake a ‘total reorganisation and integration’ of the newly acquired NetEnt after assuming operational responsibility of both entities.

This restructuring has also led to a ‘streamlining of the business’ within the development of slot games, as well as the NetEnt Live business proposition closing down – Malta news sources have reported that NetEnt has closed down its ‘Qormi live studio’ undertaking ‘hundred of job cuts’.

These measures, Evolution says, will also have consequences within business support units within the company, and are in line with previously communicated synergy goals.

Therese Hillman, current CEO of NetEnt, will continue to work to support the integration of the companies in the coming months, and is scheduled to leave after the first quarter of 2021.

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