This June, Evolution Gaming Group made a public offer to the shareholders of NetEnt, a digital entertainment company, to sell all of their NetEnt shares to Evolution. In exchange, shareholders will get 0.1306 in Evolution shares for each NetEnt share.
Evolution Gaming develops, produces, markets and licenses live casino solutions to 3rd-party gaming operators.
The stock offer includes both the unlisted shares of series A and the shares of series B that are allowed to trade on Nasdaq. The deal has an anticipated settlement date in November 2020, and is valued at $2.1 billion.
Once finalized, the merger of NetEnt’s online slots with Evolution’s Live Casino will create a B2B online gaming provider with the potential to drive the online gaming industry. While 90% of the worldwide casino industry is land-based, online gaming and sports betting are the future of the industry.
Founded in 1996 by Pontus Lindwall, and currently headed by Chairman Mathias Hedlund, NetEnt is a premier digital entertainment provider. The Stockholm-based company develops games and solutions for online gaming operators.
NetEnt pioneered the early online gaming industry when online gaming began to take hold in the mid-1990s. The company launched its first online casino in 2000.
Currently, the company offers more than 200 slot and casino games, and serves more than 200 gaming operators worldwide. In 2019 alone, the NetEnt platform handled more than 58 billion gaming transactions.
The company employs more than 1,000 people globally. While NetEnt is based in Stockholm, the company also has offices in Gothenburg, Krakow, Kyiv, Gibraltar, Malta, Sofia, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Combined, Evolution, and NetEnt provide casino games for all of Europe’s and the UK’s biggest online casinos.
Mathias Hedlund, Chairman of NetEnt, said, “Our company has recently improved its technology and product development capacity, and with that, its growth prospects. At the same time, we’ve achieved a strong position within the states that have legalized online casinos. With this deal, there are unique opportunities to create a leading B2B provider of online casinos, taking advantage of the strong growth in the US. Evolution’s Live Casino combined with NetEnt’s online slots will create a company positioned to take big market shares. Through this deal, the development of more entertaining online casinos begins, keeping the best interest of players, operators, employees, and shareholders in mind.”
About Evolution Gaming
Founded in 2006, Evolution Gaming revolutionized the European live dealer experience. Currently headed by Chairman Jens von Bahr, Evolution Gaming develops, produces, markets and licenses live casino solutions to more than 300 gambling operators all over the world.
Based in Sweden, Evolution currently employs nearly 8,000 people in live gaming studios in both Europe and North America.
Evolution Live Casino studios are fully equipped, beautifully appointed high tech production table game studios, staffed by attractive, knowledgable, and professional dealers. The company also has created a number of live studios in land-based casinos. This gives land-based casinos the ability to extend their gaming floor while providing a seamless online experience for its branded casino app.
Jens von Bahr, Chairman of Evolution, commented that, “This strategic deal with NetEnt is a significant step towards Evolution’s long-term goal of being the global market leader in the online casino industry. Combining Evolution’s robust offering in Live Casino with NetEnt’s premier position in online slot games will result in a world-class portfolio of online games. That will allow us to serve an expanding customer base. Moreover, NetEnt’s established US position combined with our current US studios will place us favorably to capitalize on the growing US market.”
Evolution Gaming Poised to Dominate the US Market
Over time, the US could become Evolution’s biggest market as more states legalize and regulate online gambling.
The merger of NetEnt’s online slots with Evolution’s Live Casino offerings through their New Jersey studio will drive its domination of the US online gaming market. Furthermore, Evolution is planning to build studios in Pennsylvania and Michigan, further increasing its footprint.
The combination of Live Casino and online slot games has the potential to generate revenue through cross-selling via a combined customer base. The joint company also has the potential to grow globally, both organically and through more acquisitions.