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The offer is being made with the goal of enabling Evolution to become a major player in the global internet gambling industry, joining titans like Microgaming, Playtech, and others. NetEnt is active in North America, and securing this purchase would give Evolution an important foothold into what is a growing market that will be huge once it mmatures.
Evolution's offer is valued at a 43% premium over the current NetEnt share price as of Tuesday, coming in at SEK79.93 per share. Current Evolution shareholders already own 20% of NetEnt, and they've indicated that they'll vote to approve of the bid. NetEnt's board of directors is also on board, voting unanimously to approve of the sale.
Commenting on the offer Evolution chair Jens von Bahr said, "This strategic acquisition is an important part of Evolution's long-term vision to become a market leader in the global online gaming industry. The combination of Evolution's strong offering in live casino and NetEnt's leading position in online slots will result in a portfolio of world-class online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base. In addition, the combination of NetEnt's established position in North America and Evolution's existing studios in the US and our so-called first to regulated market strategy will put us in an advantageous position to capitalize on the ongoing regulation in North America. "
NetEnt Chairman Mathias Hedlund added: "More recently, NetEnt has improved its tech and product development capabilities and thereby its growth potential, while at the same time achieving a strong position in the states of the US that have opened up to online casinos. Through this transaction, unique opportunities are created to form a leading B2B supplier in online casinos and take full advantage of the market developments with continued digitalisation and strong growth, especially in North America. With Evolution's position in live casino and NetEnt's position in online slots, the merged company will be well positioned to capture significant market shares. This transaction will start a new chapter in the development of more entertaining online casinos for the benefit of players, operators, staff and shareholders. "
We'll be following this story and updating readers as more developments arise.