Evolution Gaming Set To Acquire NetEnt Gaming For $2 Billion

Olufifun Adeleke

Over the years, the gaming industry has evolved from traditional casinos to online casinos, basically going digital and growing in terms of technology. Recently, Evolution Gaming announced its intention to acquire slots gaming giant, NetEnt for $2 billion. They believe the acquisition will help boost their position on the US market.

Evolution Gaming stated that the $2.11 billion offer for NetEnt indicated its goal to become "The world leader in the online gaming industry". This offer from Stockholm-listed Evolution Gaming to NetEnt has not only been acknowledged and accepted by the chairman of NetEnt, Mathias Hedlund, but he has also said that the combination of the two gaming giants with their different gaming products would give them more leverage in growing markets. Especially North America.

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 an online casino.

Mathias Hedlund, Chairman of NetEnt

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

“Evolution’s position within the 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.”

Evolution stated that shareholders in possession of 20% of NetEnt have revealed that they will welcome the offer,  and the board of directors jointly advised other shareholders to back the bid.  Board members in complete control of 8.48% of all shares and 23.20% of all votes in NetEnt have expressed their intention to accept Evolution Gaming's offer.

The merging of these two gaming giants is likely to give rise to an Annual Cost Savings of roughly €30m, in comparison to the combined cost basis of NetEnt and Evolution as of the first quarter of 2020.

Evolution Gaming, in their statement, said it would publish an offer document on or around August 14 with the acceptance period to expire on October 26. The deal is intended to finally be concluded on November 2.

“This strategic deal marks a significant step towards Evolution's long-term vision of becoming the global market leader in the online casino industry," Evolution chair Jens von Bahr said.

“The combination of Evolution's strong offering in a 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 existing US studios and first-to-regulated-market strategy will put us in a capitalize position to capitalize on the on-going regulation in North America.”

Evolution stated that the fusion between them and NetEnt would generate a best-in-class B2B provider with potential to drive the digitization of the global gaming industry, mentioning that 90% of the world casino industry is still land-based.

They also said that the US market has the prospects of becoming Evolution largest market over time as individual states regulate. The fusion of its current live casino offering through the existing New Jersey studio as well as the planned studios in Pennsylvania and Michigan with NetEnt US presence in online slots “will accelerate this development” and speed up the combined companies US growth.

Stockholm-based Evolution stated that it presently does not predict the merging of the two slots giants to have any substantial effect on NetEnt and Evolution employees.

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