Evolution A Step Closer To NetEnt Acquisition
Evolution (previously Evolution Gaming) is a step closer to finalising what may be one of the industry’s most significant acquisitions this year, if not this decade. The leader in live casino gaming online has just received the approval of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in its bid to acquire NetEnt.
Evolution first indicated that it was interested in purchasing the renowned iGaming provider in June, when it made an all-share bid valued at $2.26 billion. The acquisition bid was made with an offer to buy 0.1306 shares in Evolution for every NetEnt share held. Each share’s value was estimated to be SEK79.93.
The acceptance period for the offer began on 21 August and was due to expire on 30 October. However, Evolution extended the period to 20 November to make allowance for the CMA, which began competition clearance checks in September. The clearances were made to determine whether the acquisition would have a negative effect on competition within the online casino market in the UK.
The CMA announced its findings and gave Evolution g the green light in November. The live gaming provider also received approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, which announced its findings in September.
NetEnt Shareholders Show Interest
According to reports, 20% of NetEnt’s shareholders expressed interest in accepting the live gaming provider’s offer, as had its board of directors. However, the board indicated that the company’s other shareholders also would need to approve the acquisition.
Their decision was expected to be in by 20 November, but neither company has made an announcement either way at the time of writing. In the initial plan, the settlement was to begin on 1 December, provided Evolution received all the necessary approvals. However, the settlement date may be postponed due to the extension of the acceptance period.
If Evolution does go on to acquire NetEnt, and if the settlement date remains the beginning of December, it will happen 15 months after NetEnt acquired casino game provider Red Tiger Gaming for £220 million. The NetEnt-Red Tiger Gaming acquisition took place in September 2019.
NetEnt – An iGaming Industry Veteran
NetEnt is widely regarded as one of the veterans of the online casino industry. The company was founded by Pontus Lindwall in 1996, and it was listed on NGM Equity in 2007. In 2009, the company moved to the Stockholm Stock Exchange’s main list. While the company does have a live gaming offering, it is best-known for its engaging video slots.
Should Evolution’s buy-out be a success, they’re sure to grow the brand in new directions, with live dealer games being just one of them.