France’s FDJ sets sights on Kindred with a $2.67 billion bid

In a bold move to solidify its position in the European gaming landscape, French gambling giant La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has officially proposed the acquisition of online betting firm Kindred for a staggering 27.95 billion Swedish kronor, equivalent to approximately $2.67 billion.

Both parties, confirming the widely anticipated news on Monday, expressed shared optimism about the potential merger. FDJ revealed its aspiration to “create a European gaming champion,” aiming to become the continent’s second-largest operator through the takeover.

The proposed offer for Kindred, a Swedish-listed firm renowned for operating popular brands such as Unibet, 32Red, and, stands at 130 kronor ($12.4) per share in cash. This figure represents an enticing 24% premium over Kindred’s last share price on Friday, as detailed in a statement released by the online betting firm.

FDJ, positioning itself as one of the world’s major gaming operators, boasts a diverse portfolio ranging from lotteries and poker games to sports and horse-race betting. Currently listed on the Paris stock exchange, the company envisions significant growth and market dominance with this strategic acquisition.

The deal’s potential benefits for FDJ extend beyond financial figures, as it would grant the French group access to Kindred’s expansive customer base, exceeding 30 million across Europe, North America, and Australia. Such a move would be pivotal for FDJ, elevating its international business share from 6% to an estimated 20%, subject to the successful completion of the acquisition.

“I am pleased to announce today the proposed acquisition of Kindred,” said FDJ Chairwoman and CEO Stephane Pallez. “The combination will result in a stronger strategic positioning and significant value creation for the benefit of our shareholders and broader stakeholder.”

Notably, the merger holds the promise of rapidly enhancing FDJ’s digital presence. The share of gross gaming revenue derived from the company’s online business is anticipated to surge from 14% to an impressive 29% post-merger, indicating a strategic pivot towards a more digitally-focused gaming landscape.

The ambitious offer has received unanimous support from both boards of directors, signifying a harmonious alignment of interests between FDJ and Kindred. In response to the proposed acquisition, Kindred, which was founded in 1997, encourages its shareholders to consider the tender offer, officially set to launch on February 19. The offer will remain open for up to nine months, awaiting regulatory approvals.

Nils Andén, CEO of Kindred, expressed enthusiasm about the transaction, emphasizing its potential to create a leading European gaming operator with robust financial and strategic capabilities. The coming months will unfold the fate of this transformative deal, as the gaming industry eagerly watches the evolution of FDJ and Kindred’s collaborative venture.

Written by Maya Robertson


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