June 24, 2020 / 7:08 AM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Evolution Gaming offers to buy NetEnt in $2 bln online casino deal

(Adds details, deal terms)

June 24 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Evolution Gaming Group AB said on Wednesday it has offered to buy NetEnt AB for 19.6 billion Swedish crowns ($2.12 billion) in stock to broaden its slate of casino games and increase earnings through cost savings.

The offer of 79.93 crowns per share represents a premium of 43% over NetEnt’s closing price on Tuesday. NetEnt’s board of directors have recommended the offer to its shareholders.

NetEnt shareholders will get 0.1306 Evolution shares for each share they own. Several large NetEnt shareholders, holding about 45% of the company, have undertaken to accept the offer.

“Evolution’s position within Live Casino combined with NetEnt’s position within online slots will create a company well positioned to take significant market shares,” NetEnt Chairman Mathias Hedlund said in a statement.

Evolution expects the deal result in annual cost savings of about 30 million euros ($34 million) and to have a positive effect on earnings per share in 2021.

Both Evolution and NetEnt develop and license casino games such as online slot machines and roulette games. ($1 = 9.2595 Swedish crowns) ($1 = 0.8834 euros) (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; editing by Niklas Pollard)

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