Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 14th December 2021
After the expiry of its ‘extended acceptance period’ to buy out the Stockholm-listed casino games maker, Evolution Gaming has brought its overall shareholding in NetEnt to approximately 96.8 percent of the outstanding shares.
The acquisition of NetEnt by Evolution had previously been given the green light by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom, having also eliminated the barrier of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority on 29 September.
In June 2020, NetEnt approved Evolution Gaming’s SEK 19.6bn (€1.8bn) acquisition bid, meaning that Evolution will acquire 90 percent of NetEnt’s corporate shareholding at SEK 79.93 (€7) per share.
Initially, Evolution had expressed an expectation that the transaction would close on November 2, with an approval period beginning on August 17, 2020 and expiring on or around October 26, 2020.
Evolution announced on 23 November that its bid for acquisition had been deemed unconditional, that the bid had been completed and that the approval period had been extended to 30 November.
Evolution has announced in its latest update that the bid has now closed, and the firm has ‘initiated a compulsory buy-out procedure in accordance with the Swedish Companies Act for the purpose of acquiring those shares not submitted in the offer’.
In addition, NetEnt also demanded that its shares be de-listed from Nasdaq Stockholm, with the last day of trading to be released after a decision was taken by the stock exchange.
Via the merger, which will see NetEnt function under the Evolution banner, after taking operational responsibility of both companies, Evolution will conduct a ‘full reorganisation and incorporation’ of the newly acquired NetEnt.
In the production of slot games, this restructuring has also led to a ‘streamlining of the business’ as well as the closure of the NetEnt Live business proposal. Malta news outlets have announced that NetEnt closed its ‘Qormi live studio’ implementing ‘hundreds of job cuts’.
These steps, Evolution states, would also have repercussions within the company’s business support units, and are in line with synergy targets previously communicated.
NetEnt’s current CEO, Therese Hillman, will continue to work to help the company’s integration in the coming months and is expected to leave after the first quarter of 2021.