Entain gets approval to acquire Enlabs

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Renowned British sports betting and gambling firm Entain has officially confirmed securing all necessary regulatory approvals to proceed with the proposed acquisition of Swedish gaming company Enlabs.

While Entain filed its initial bid in January 2021, Enlabs’ minority shareholders shot down the proposal claiming it “undervalued the business”. Entain upped its initial offer to SEK3.7bn (£312.1m/€364.3m/$432.9m) last week, and 51% of Enlabs’ shareholders have backed the new offer. The list includes Entain’s shareholders and board members that own 42.2% of Enlabs.

Entain further secured all necessary approvals from the related gaming bodies involved. The operator had to obtain these additional approvals to move ahead with the acquisition plans. The acceptance period for the deal ends on March 18. Enlabs extended the initial cut-off date from February 18 to provide sufficient time to secure every approval needed for the deal.

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Entain further stated that it’s willing to extend the deadline beyond March 18 to allow more time to comply with the conditions. According to Entain’s Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Rob Wood,

“Entain is the best home of Enlabs, its clients and employees”.

The approvals arrived in the midst of Entain revealing its revenue figures for 2020. Business is booming as the rapid growth from online channels neutralized the decline in retail sales.

Extended Platform Deal with Scientific Games

Apart from plans to acquire Enlabs, Entain recently also signed a three-year contract with Scientific Games, which grants unlimited access to the latter’s OpenGaming ecosystem. Brands like Coral, Bwin, Ladbrokes, Gala, and PartyCasino will continue to benefit from the content aggregation platform, which has over 3,000 titles from a range of globally-renowned studios.

The agreement covers Entain’s activities in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Entain’s Chief Product Officer Valery Gelfman revealed:

“Over the last couple of years, OpenGaming has been a crucial component of our online gaming ecosystem. It has helped us establish our brand as the world’s biggest online casino.”

“Extending our association with Scientific Games will help us continue building our market value and increase our share in Europe and regulated markets elsewhere”.

Dylan Slaney, the Senior Vice President of Gaming for Digital at Scientific Games added:

“We have quite a few exciting titles lined up in our portfolio. Entain stands to make the most of the situation from the content sharing deal”. 

He also continued saying:

“Our OpenGaming ecosystem is well-endowed with the right set of tools, which puts us in a prime position to offer valuable support for Entain, as it grows within its target markets”.

Rapid Growth at Entain

Entain recorded revenue and gross profit figures of £3.5bn and £2.3bn respectively in 2020 compared to the previous year as earnings increased 10% to £862.1m. Despite the higher profits, Entain’s share prices fell 1.9% during the first hour of trading.

However, things went back on track soon after as news broke out of its joint venture with MGM Resorts. Entain’s market share grew by over 18% across the 12 states in which they currently operate.

Category:   Gambling industry