Evolution Gaming exclusive: NetEnt merger will "drive the digitalisation" of the gaming industry

By Owain Flanders

On Wednesday, it was announced Evolution Gaming had made an offer of SEK 19.6bn ($2.1bn) to acquire Red Tiger owner NetEnt. The proposed offer, which is yet to be accepted, valued each share in the Swedish supplier at SEK 79.93.

Gambling Insider spoke with a representative from Evolution Gaming to understand the main reasons behind the company’s interest in NetEnt and to establish how it fits into its future plans.

Firstly, the spokesperson revealed that negotiations surrounding the planned offer began this year, after being “initiated some time after the Q1 report.”

When asked for the main reasons behind the planned acquisition, Evolution Gaming insisted the aim of the merger was to drive digitalisation in gaming.

The company spokesperson said: “The combined company will become a leading online gaming provider with a strong platform for international growth and expansion.

“The merger of Evolution’s leading position in live casino with NetEnt’s strong position in slots will create a best-in-class B2B provider with capacity to drive the digitalisation of the global gaming industry.”

Of course, NetEnt’s acquisition of slot provider Red Tiger Gaming in September 2019 also had its part to play in generating interest from Evolution Gaming, although the spokesperson was hesitant to attribute too much significance to this factor.

“Red Tiger is a part of NetEnt,” he said. “So naturally we have considered the whole company in the offer.”

Evolution Gaming has been steadily growing as a company in recent years, generating revenue of €365.8m ($410.2m) for the full-year 2019, a rise of 49% year-on-year.

Asked how the deal fits into the company’s long-term plans for growth, Evolution Gaming replied that the acquisition will mark a “significant step” towards its goal of becoming the “market leader in the online casino industry.”

Evolution Gaming expects the proposal, which the spokesperson described as “a very attractive offer,” to be accepted by NetEnt after receiving support from all the major shareholders in the company.

 

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