Evolution Receives CMA Approval for NetEnt Acquisition

A number of major mergers and acquisitions have been taking place this year, and even more are planned, one such being Caesars Entertainment acquiring Eldorado Resorts earlier this year. Now it looks as if the next major deal will be struck between NetEnt and Evolution, two of the biggest online gambling companies.

Evolution made an offer to acquire slot giant NetEnt several months ago, and the companies were aware from the outset that it would be a long and difficult process. However, the plans were given a boost recently when the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the anti-monopoly authority in the UK, gave its approval to the deal.

The CMA began looking into the deal in September and has only just finished its due diligence, reaching the conclusion that it may go ahead. The process was extensive and encompassed everything from an open comment period to a detailed marketplace analysis. However, nothing was found to prevent the deal from going ahead.

The news led to Evolution releasing a statement on November 16 saying, “The CMA has […] announced its approval of Evolution’s acquisition of NetEnt. Consequently, the condition regarding the receipt of all necessary competition approvals has been fulfilled.”

The statement went on to say that the offer may be accepted until November 20, 2020, and that assuming that the “offer is declared unconditional no later than around November 23, 2020, the settlement is expected to commence around December 1, 2020.”

It has been reported that Evolution is willing to spend €1.8 billion to acquire NetEnt assets, which will give it control of roughly 90% of the company. It is a vast sum of money and represents a 43% premium on NetEnt’s stock price from when the companies first reached an agreement in June 2020. The deal has also been approved by the Malta Competition and Consumers Affair Authority, meaning that the deal may be complete by the year’s end.

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