FDJ tables full €2.6bn offer for Kindred Group

FDJ tables full €2.6bn offer for Kindred Group

FDJ tables full €2.6bn offer for Kindred Group
La Française des Jeux (FDJ), France’s leading iGaming and sports betting operator, which also runs retail offer in the country, has put forward its €2.6bn acquisition offer for Kindred Group, the company behind Unibet, Les Echos and other French media outlets reported, citing an official release from the buyer. The company stated that the offer has already been approved by the Swedish Financial Market Supervisory Authority as of Monday, February 19, and that the deal was allowed to move forward. The offer becomes available from today, Tuesday, February 20, and Kindred Group would have up to 39 weeks to discuss the terms, negotiate, accept, or refuse them. However, FDJ will not agree to obtain anything less than 90% of Kindred Group’s shares, ideally looking to acquire 100% of the latter company’s stock. The company is now offering €2.6bn (the original article by Bloomberg back in January specified $2.5bn as the sum) to make this happen, hoping to see Kindred Group accept the takeover bid. Moreover, Kindred Group has faced some financial headwinds of its own, and commenced a strategic review last year, with the company admitting that selling to a competitor was indeed one of the mulled options. The company said it would consider a sale or merger as early as April 2023. Should the two companies seek to merge under FDJ’s aegis, the resulting entity would attain gross gaming revenue of around €8bn and turnover of €3.5bn, with EBITDA in the general neighborhood of €860m. The deal will also allow FDJ to increase its revenue share from foreign operations to 20% of its gross gaming revenue. Meanwhile, Kindred Group employs some 2,400 people and the company would most likely be going to remain intact under the FDJ umbrella, although this remains to be seen. FDJ is serious about the purchase, offering SEK 130 per share, which is already higher than the SEK 104 per share offered to the company last month. The deal also seems very likely to take a turn for the better, with expectations about its materialization particularly high, not least because of vocal support by Eminence Capital and Corvex Management, along with Nordea, Veralda Investment, and Premier Investissement SAS all of whom are investors in Kindred Group and actively looking to boost share value. More developments regarding the sale will surely be forthcoming, and we will be following events as they happen. Image credit: Kindred Group

19 FEB 2024

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