Enlabs makes €14.4m bid for Global Gaming

Enlabs believes it could make cost savings of up to €5m through a merger.
Enlabs believes it could make cost savings of up to €5m through a merger.

The igaming operator has made an official offer for the remaining shares, valuing the Ninja Casino owner at €43.2m.

Sweden.- Enlabs has officially made an offer to buy the remaining shares in Global Gaming after increasing its stake in the Ninja Casino operator to 66.7 per cent last month.

Global Gaming’s CEO Tobias Fagerlund has announced his immediate departure.

Enlabs’ non-negotiable offer invites Global shareholders to swap shares for SEK11 in cash and 0.36 Enlabs shares. It has also offered the option to accept 50 per cent cash consideration and 50 per cent Enlabs shares.

The cash consideration equates to a premium of close to 15 per cent on Global’s closing share price on August 26, and 1 per cent on the price at close on Monday.

The offer values the 13.6m shares Enlabs does not already own at about SEK150m (€14.4m), making the value of Global’s issued share capital SEK450m (€43.2m).

Enlabs triggered the threshold at which it had to make an offer for Global Gaming when it increased its stake in the operator to 54.06 per cent in August. It subsequently increased its stake further to 27.3m shares.

The operator is looking at broadening its market beyond Latvia and Estonia, particularly in Finland, where Global has a strong presence.

It said the acquisition would result in cost savings of up to €5m through economies of scale and the reduction of overlapping staff functions.

Enlabs said: “Enlabs is of the opinion that the global market for igaming services is currently undergoing extensive changes, which justifies continued sector consolidation.

“Furthermore, in line with previous communication to the market, the company believes that acquisitions are a central part of its continued expansion.”

It added: “Global Gaming is a challenger in the igaming industry, delivering innovative and safe gaming services. Enlabs believes that Global Gaming has a strong market position through the casino brands that Global Gaming holds primarily in Finland, but also in Estonia and some other countries. 

“Furthermore, Enlabs sees that Global Gaming’s brands have the potential to be launched in Enlabs’ current main markets Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in certain geographical markets where neither Enlabs nor Global Gaming are active today which Enlabs considers to be potential growth markets, such as Ukraine.

“In addition, Enlabs views positively the possibility of enabling further geographical expansion for Enlabs’ own brands through the acquisition of Global Gaming.”

Global’s shareholders will have from October 5 until November 2 to accept Enlabs’ offer.

The operator has established an independent committee to address the offer since its chair Niklas Braathen is unable to be involved as he also serves as chair of Enlabs’ board.

The committee comprises board members Jonas Bertilsson, Christian Rasmussen, Michael Niklasson and Arne Reinemo and will aim to make a recommendation to shareholders by October 19 at the latest.

Tobias Fagerlund has announced that he will step down as Global Gaming’s chief executive from today. He took up the position in April 2019.

Braathen said it needed leadership to be based in Estonia or Malta rather than Stockholm. Christian Rasmussen will step in as acting chief executive.

Braathen said: “It is my opinion that Tobias during his time as CEO led Global Gaming in a very meritorious way. Tobias has implemented a large package of restructuring measures and shown evidence of a strong and clear leadership that was absolutely necessary for the company.

“Tobias has thus with great success laid a good foundation for Global Gaming’s future operations. Now, however, the company is facing a new phase and we have identified a number of measures necessary to further strengthen the company’s position.”

Enlabs, meanwhile, has completed the migration of its flagship Latvian Optibet.lv site onto its new proprietary gaming platform, NPL. The Optibet brand in Estonia will be migrated in November.

Enlabs chief executive George Ustinov said the platform would give Enlabs much more control over the Optibet brand.

He said: “Enlabs delivered its promise to all customers in Latvia – Optibet is now greatly improved, faster and even more entertaining.”

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