Evolution’s Proposed NetEnt Transaction Cleared By CMA

The Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom cleared the imminent acquisition of NetEnt by Evolution almost two months after the start of the investigation to examine whether the deal would minimise competition in the igaming market in the region.

The competition regulator officially declared, by notification to those concerned in September, the start of its merger inquiry before inviting any interested party to comment on the acquisition.

It was appropriate to provide such comments before the invitation closed on 5 October, after which the CMA will continue to phase one of the review phase before determining whether to join phase two or to close the investigation by today.

Evolution gave the following update detailing the process so far: “The CMA has today, on November 16, 2020, announced its approval of Evolution’s acquisition of NetEnt.

“Consequently, the condition regarding the receipt of all necessary competition approvals has been fulfilled. The other conditions for completion of the offer, which are included in the offer document that was published on August 20, 2020, remain unchanged and are still applicable.

“The acceptance period for the offer expires on November 20, 2020. Assuming that the offer is declared unconditional no later than around November 23, 2020, settlement is expected to commence around December 1, 2020. Evolution reserves the right to extend the acceptance period for the Offer and to postpone the settlement date.”

The proposed deal, an offer recommended to shareholders by the NetEnt board, sees Evolution offering 0.1306 shares for each NetEnt share, each priced at SEK 79.93 and all the company’s shares at approximately SEK 19.6bn.

Compared to the closing price of the NetEnt Series B share on Nasdaq Stockholm on 23 June 2020, the offered consideration per share represents a premium of 43 per cent.

The business has previously documented that on September 29, 2020, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority had rubber stamped its approval.

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.