Evolution Gaming makes $2 billion offer to buy NetEnt

Two giants collide as Evolution Gaming makes landmark bid for iGaming developer NetEnt

World renowned live casino game developers Evolution Gaming have offered to buy NetEnt for 19.6 billion Swedish crowns ($2.12 billion dollars) in stock so that they can broaden their slate of casino games and increase earnings through cost savings.

The offer of 79.93 crowns per share represents a premium of 43% over NetEnt's Nasdaq Stockholm closing price on Tuesday 23rd June 2020. NetEnt's board of directors have unnanimously recommended the offer to its shareholders. They will receive 0.1306 Evolution shares for each share they own. 

Several large NetEnt shareholders, holding about 45% of the company, have already accepted the offer. The completion of the offer is conditional upon, among other things, the Offer being accepted by shareholders to such an extent that Evolution becomes the owner of more than 90 per cent of the shares in NetEnt.

Why do Evolution Gaming want to buy NetEnt?

According to a press release published by Evolution Gaming the company made the landmark deal in attempt to accelerate Evolution’s move towards becoming the world leader in the online gaming industry. 

It is believed that Evolution’s leading position in the Live Casino sector combined with NetEnt’s strong position in the online slots sector would help elevate them to become a best-in-class B2B provider with capacity to drive the digitalisation of the global gaming industry.

Evolution also has grand plans to expand rapidly across the United States in the hope that the country will become Evolution's strongest market. 

The merger of Evolution’s existing Live Casino offering through the existing New Jersey studio as well as the planned studios in Pennsylvania and Michigan with NetEnt’s already strong presence in the United States thanks to their online slots will accelerate this development and fast-track the combined company’s move into the US online gaming market.

The most exciting aspect of the purchase for online slots fans would be any future collaborations between their world-class developers who are renowned for making memorable titles that can be found at almost all popular no wagering casinos. Evolution hopes that this will also generate revenue through cross-selling and improved distribution via both companies' customer bases. 

Finally, the combined company looks to work towards becoming a leading online gaming provider through additional acquisitions, meaning we can expect to see more talented iGaming developers such Red Tiger Gaming benefit, who were acquired by NetEnt in September for £220 million.

A significant step forward towards Evolution's long-term vision

Speaking about the landmark purchase, Evolution Gaming Chairman Jens von Bahr said: “This strategic deal marks a significant step towards Evolution’s long-term vision of becoming the global market leader in the online casino industry. 

"The combination of Evolution’s strong offering in Live Casino with NetEnt’s leading position in online slots will result in a world class portfolio of online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base. 

"Furthermore, NetEnt’s established US positioning combined with Evolution’s existing US studios and first-to-regulated-market strategy will put us in a favourable position to capitalise on the on-going regulation in North America.”

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A new chapter in the development of more entertaining online casinos

In NetEnt's statement Mathias Hedlund, Chairman of NetEnt commented: “Recently, NetEnt has vastly improved its tech and product development capabilities and thereby its growth prospects and at the same time reaching a strong position within the US states that have opened up for online casino. 

"With this deal, there are unique possibilities to shape a leading global B2B provider of online casino, taking advantage of the market development with continued digitalisation and strong growth, especially in North America. 

"Evolution’s position within Live Casino combined with NetEnt’s position within online slots will create a company well positioned to take significant market shares. Through this transaction, a new chapter in the development of more entertaining online casino begins, in the best interest of players, operators, employees and shareholders.”

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