2020.10.22

Cliff-hanger as Evolution Gaming grants acceptance period extension for NetEnt Takeover Offer

Live casino specialist Evolution Gaming has decided to extend the period for NetEnt’s shareholders to accept its takeover offer to November 20, 2020, following the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) saying that it would announce its ruling on the acquisition by November 16.

Evolution’s SEK19.6 billion (approx. $2.2 billion) offer to buy NetEnt was first tabled in June and is part of a bid to bolster its position across regulated European markets and increase its market share in the US where both companies have secured vital partnerships with local operators.

The deal, which It has been recommended by Evolution’s shareholders and is awaiting approval from NetEnt's shareholders and competition authorities, will result in the formation of a B2B gambling monolith.

The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority gave the transaction its stamp of approval in late September 2020, with approval from the CMA in the UK still outstanding.

The CMA’s inquiry into the proposed purchase was launched in September 2020 and seeks to determine whether the deal would “result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

The CMA requested that interested submit their comments on the deal by October 5 with the regulator committing to communicate its decision on the matter by November 16.

In June, Evolution’s plans to acquire NetEnt that came with an acceptance deadline of October 26 with November 2 as the projected finalisation date.

The CMA’s mid-November announcement commitment prompted Evolution’s Board of Directors to extend the offer’s acceptance period “up to and including” November 20.  Aside from the extended acceptance period, the terms and conditions of the takeover offer have not changed, the company revealed on Monday.

Evolution’s combination with NetEnt is designed to "create a company well-positioned to take significant market shares" thanks to its own position live casino portfolio and NetEnt’s position within the online slots sector.

Evolution and NetEnt have both recently concluded a series of deals with US operators to increase their shares of that market ahead of their deal. Evolution recently joined up with William Hill to supply the operator with its burgeoning Live Casino portfolio. NetEnt also recently announced that it had inked a deal with PlayLive! in Pennsylvania.

New Evolution Gaming to buy Netent 1200