After making acquisition steps at the turn of the year, Entain has raised the price of its bid to buy Baltics online gaming company Enlabs through its wholly-owned Bwin Holdings subsidiary.
In January, Enlabs’ independent bid committee overwhelmingly proposed that the company’s shareholders approve the offer of SEK 40 per share, valuing the company at SEK 2.8 billion, or about £250 million. However, a coalition of interested parties with a 10 percent stake in the company argued that the plan “materially undervalues the company.”
Since previously extending its approval period, the multinational sports betting and gaming entertainment company has now returned with a stronger bid of SEK 53 per share, valuing Enlabs at about SEK 3.7 billion, or £316 million.
Enlabs’ independent bid committee has told Entain that it would recommend that shareholders approve the deal, with a formal announcement due no later than one week before the approval deadline expires.
A number of shareholders who had previously expressed opposition to the acquisition have now “provided irrevocable undertakings to Entain to accept the Increased bid,” with such undertakings conditional only on the offer being made unconditional on or before May 17, 2021, according to the company.
“More attractive” to shareholders
Individuals controlling just under 51 percent of Enlabs shares have decided to approve the revamped bid, which the company believes is “more attractive” to shareholders. The offer’s acceptance period was originally scheduled to expire on February 18, 2021, but it was extended last month to March 18, 2021.
Entain’s CFO and deputy CEO, Rob Wood, explained: “As a world leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment, Entain’s ambition is to revolutionise betting and gaming to create the most exciting and trusted entertainment for every customer.
“In a highly competitive and regulated industry, where consolidation is a key theme, Entain is able to provide the scale and platform needed to further support Enlabs’ long-term growth, and we firmly believe that Entain will be the best home for Enlabs, its employees and customers.
“Against this background, we have decided to make a final offer of SEK 53 to all shareholders, providing an opportunity to exit their investment at a very attractive valuation. We are pleased that shareholders with around 51 per cent have now irrevocably agreed to accept the offer and would urge other shareholders to do the same by 18 March.”