Bally’s sees strong form for British brands against regulatory headwinds

Bally’s acquisition of Gamesys to close on 1 October

Bally’s Corporation has confirmed that its takeover of Gamesys Group will reach completion on 1 October, putting an end to the months-long acquisition process.

The US sports betting and gaming conglomerate revealed that the M&A process had received regulatory approval from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), but added that approval was still required from US counterparts.

A court hearing sanctioning the transaction is scheduled for 30 September, after which the two companies expect to merge in early October. 

Initially agreed in April of this year, the acquisition will see Bally’s acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Gamesys, in cooperation with Premier Entertainment.

The deal saw Bally’s pay £2 billion for the UK online gaming operator, paying £18.50 pence per share in cash, equating to a near 40% premium on the British group’s share price from 25 January of £13.30.

As a result, Gamesys delisted from the London Stock Exchange and put an end to its UK operations, with the two companies instead forming a combined group in Providence, the capital city of the US state of Rhode Island.

Lee Fenton, CEO of Gamesys, will continue to serve in his current position, whilst COO, Robson Reeves, and Non-Executive Director, Jim Ryan, will also join the board of the US group.

Meanwhile, Bally’s CEO George Papanier will remain on the board as a Senior Executive, primarily responsible for operating the firm’s retail casino business.

Commenting at the time of the takeover, Fenton said: “This combination represents a compelling opportunity to integrate Gamesys’ market-leading gaming technology with Bally’s growing US gaming platform to create a vertically integrated company that is poised to capitalise on the rapidly expanding US online sports betting and igaming market.”

For Bally’s, the transaction represents an opportunity for the group to strengthen its standing in the US’ expanding online betting and gaming market, with a growth strategy of becoming a ‘premier, global, omni-channel gaming company’ and creating ‘significant long-term shareholder value’, according to company Chair Soo Kim.

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