Evolution Gaming takes full control of NetEnt

Evolution Gaming has begun integrating NetEnt into its business after completing the acquisition of the slot giant.

The live dealer specialist Evolution Gaming has completed its SEK19,60bn (£1.72bn) acquisition of NetEnt and launched the process of integrating the acquired business.

This comes after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave Evolution the greenlight to acquire NetEnt. The acquisition also received approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority on 29 September.

Evolution completes NetEnt acquisition

Evolution has taken its total shareholding in NetEnt to approximately 96.8% of the outstanding shares after the expiry of its “extended acceptance period” to buy out the casino games developer. In addition to this, Evolution currently holds 98.6% of the votes in the casino giant.

On 23 November, the offer was declared unconditional although the acceptance period was extended until 30 November.

The acquisition was backed by 93.9% of the total number of shares and 97.3% of the total number of votes in NetEnt by 23 November. 

In the seven days leading up to 30 November, investors holding 7.1m series A shares in the business and 7.1m in series B shares also backed the offer, giving it a total holding of 237.7m shares in NetEnt.

On top of this offer, which allowed NetEnt stockholders to sell their shares for 0.1306 Evolution shares, the company will issue 933,504 new shares in the business. 

Evolution has now initiated a compulsory buy out procedure to acquire all outstanding shares and NetEnt has applied to have its shares delisted from the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.

Once the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange accepts NetEnt’s request, the final day of trading will be announced.

Integrating the business

Evolution has begun a “total reorganisation” of the slot giant with Evolution’s management team assuming operational responsibility for NetEnt.

As a result of this, NetEnt’s chief executive Therese Hillman will support the integration of the business before departing in the first quarter of 2021.

As part of the integration, NetEnt’s live casino division will be closed and efforts will be made to streamline the development of slots. Evolution noted that this would have consequences for the supplier’s business support units.

These measures are in line with the goals set when the initial acquisition offer was made, in particular the efforts to reduce costs by €30m per year.

Evolution will continue to offer products under its existing brands, which includes Evolution, Ezugi, NetEnt and Red Tiger.

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