The face of the online casino industry is about to change dramatically. As posted on the trade industry website site Casino.org, Evolution Gaming has announced plans to acquire NetEnt for more than $2 billion.
The companies are viewed as rivals given that they are two of the biggest gaming content developers in the online casino gambling industry. Terms of the deal call for an all-stock transaction if it passes regulatory approval. Evolution is looking to acquire NetEnt’s entire portfolio of casino games. This includes all Live Casino titles that stream live from studios with the use of actual dealers.
Both companies are based in Sweden. Evolution would buy all NetEnt shares at a 43 percent premium based on the closing market price on Tuesday, June 23. The total value of the deal in Swedish Crowns would be $1.6 billion. This equates to $2.12 billion in US dollars.
NetEnt’s board of directors made the recommendation to accept the proposal by a unanimous decision according to a statement posted on the company’s website. It is highly likely that shareholders will follow suit. Evolution had already indicated that the offer was final under the terms of the Nasdaq Stockholm Takeover Rules.
The combination of the two companies would create the biggest B2B content provider in the online casino industry. A few of the strategic benefits noted by the NetEnt board were:
- A substantial increase in scale to become the leading supplier of online casino products, including slots and Live Casino games.
- The ability to leverage Evolution’s strong market position in the Live Casino segment while also strengthening NetEnt’s market share.
- A strong competitive edge in the emerging US online casino industry.
- Diversification that will help to compete in a rapidly changing online gaming marketplace.
- The combination of two world class organizations to further benefit B2B customers as well as retail end users.
Evolution Gaming made the following statement in a company press release announcing the offer:
Evolution is confident that it will be able to build a strong group with NetEnt’s senior management and employees. Evolution recognizes the value of NetEnt’s senior management and other employees and appreciates that their talent and dedication have been, and will continue to be, integral to NetEnt’s and the combined group’s success.
The statement went on to add:
Following the completion of the Offer, Evolution intends to carry out a careful review of the combined business in order to evaluate how Evolution can organize and develop the group in the best possible way.
Evolution was founded in 2006. In recent years, the company has rapidly expanded its Live Casino portfolio by operating eight live gaming studios on a global scale. It also has partnerships with more than 300 iGaming operators equally spread around the world.
NetEnt also offers Live Casino games but its core strength remains online slots. Its game Narcos was named the “2019 Best New Slot Game” by Casino.org.
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