La Française des Jeux (FDJ), announced its intention to propose a public cash offer for online gambling company Kindred in a deal worth $2.67 billion. The offer acceptance period is expected to start on 20th February 2024 and conclude on 19th November 2024
The completion of the tender offer remains subject to regulatory authorisations and to FDJ's acquisition of at least 90% of Kindred's capital Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ Group, said: “I am pleased to announce today the proposed acquisition of Kindred. Fully aligned with our strategy, it will give the Group a diversified and balanced profile, based on several pillars: the monopoly activities, mainly the lottery, on our French historical market and, since November, in Ireland, with the acquisition of the Irish lottery operator PLI; and online sports betting and gaming activities open to competition in Europe. In this market, Kindred is one of the leading operators, combining strong brands, best-in-class technology platforms, an attractive growth profile and a committed approach to responsible gaming. Given their respective histories, strategic strengths and core values, FDJ and Kindred are highly complementary, and I will be delighted to welcome Kindred's management team and many talented individuals into the combined Group following this transaction. The combination will result in a stronger strategic positioning and significant value creation for the benefit of our shareholders and broader stakeholders.”
Nils Andén, CEO of Kindred, said: “I’m delighted with today’s transaction announcement between FDJ and Kindred, creating a leading European gaming operator with the financial and strategic capabilities to further expand its global footprint. I believe that combining with FDJ, Kindred can accelerate the delivery of long-term strategic projects, continue to grow in core markets, and provide a trusted source of entertainment to customers. It will also speed up our path towards 100% locally regulated revenue. I’m excited to bring Kindred’s extensive experience and know-how into FDJ’s organisation, contributing to the development of a leading online gaming business. I’m also very proud that FDJ acknowledges and values the skilled employees and strong assets within Kindred.”
FDJ launches a recommended all-cash tender offer for Kindred to create a European gaming champion
o In order to implement its ambition to become an international gaming operator, FDJ is announcing the filing of a tender offer to acquire the entire share capital of Kindred
o Kindred is one of Europe's leading online betting and gaming companies, operating the Unibet brand o The offer is being made at a price of SEK 130 per share in Kindred, which is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm
o This price represents a premium of 24% over the closing price on 19 January 2024 and 35% over the weighted average price for the last 30 trading days, and corresponds to an enterprise value of €2.6 billion
o This acquisition will create a European gaming champion with an enhanced financial profile
o Second-largest operator in Europe's gaming sector o Stronger revenue and earnings growth
o FDJ and Kindred share high standards for responsible gaming and a business model that combines performance and responsibility
o The combined Group will only operate on markets that are locally regulated or on the path of becoming regulated
o This transaction will create value for FDJ shareholders. In particular, it is expected to lead to a more than 10% accretion in dividend per share, starting from the 2025 financial year to be paid in 2026 o This offer is unanimously recommended by Kindred’s Board of Directors
o Five key shareholders, holding a combined 27.9%1 of the capital, have irrevocably undertaken to support the transaction and tender their shares
o The transaction will take the form of an all-cash tender offer, which will be launched on 19 February 2024 for a maximum period of nine months.
16 Feb 2024
The report also reveals that gross winnings revenue in Q4 of 2023 grew by 2% to £301.6 million (€353.8 million) while overall revenues for the quarter also increased by 2% to £312.9 million (€367.1 million).
CEO Nils Andén commented:
“The final quarter of 2023 saw sustained above-market performance in the Netherlands, UK, and Romania, which combined with continued growth in our B2B segment (Relax Gaming) generated total revenue of GBP 312.9 million and underlying EBITDA of GBP 56.8 million for the period, an increase of 45 per cent compared to the same period last year.
During 2023, we provided guidance of GBP 200 million in underlying EBITDA, and I am very pleased that we have delivered on that target. Our performance demonstrates that Kindred is able to grow profitably within highly regulated markets. During 2023, 82 per cent of Gross winnings revenue was generated from locally regulated markets.”
The casino & games segment continues to grow well, contributing 57 per cent of Gross winnings revenue during the quarter – up 7 per cent versus the same period last year. The strong performance is testament to our strategic focus on enhancing the customer offering through exclusive games, improved supplier partnerships, and personalising the casino & games experience. As previously mentioned, accelerating growth across the segment within multi-product markets will continue to be a major delivery area during 2024.
Relax Gaming continue to perform well with total revenue for the quarter increasing 33 per cent versus the same period last year. The underlying EBITDA contribution was also up 72 per cent, demonstrating the scalability of the Relax business.”
Following the cost optimisation initiatives announced at the end of 2023, we continue to reallocate resources and marketing investments into areas that will deliver improved growth. Specifically, this includes increasing focus on the profitable casino segment and concentrating our marketing efforts within markets where we see significant opportunity to outgrow the market.
I remain confident that Kindred can deliver above-market growth across our portfolio during 2024. We see robust performance in select core markets, and I expect this momentum to continue going forward.”
Kindred also announced that interim CEO Andén has now been appointed as permanent CEO.
French lottery operator, La Française des Jeux (FDJ), announced its intention to propose a public cash offer for online gambling company Kindred in a deal worth SEK27.96 billion (£2.10 billion/€2.45 billion/$2.67 billion).
The deal will see FDJ pay a 24.4% premium over the closing price of SEK 104.50 on Nasdaq Stockholm on 19 January 2024, the last trading day before the offer’s announcement.
The offer acceptance period is expected to start on 20th February 2024 and conclude on 19th November 2024.