Goldman Sachs snaps up Kindred stake


The investment bank has become the Swedish operator’s third-biggest shareholder.

Sweden.- The investment bank Goldman Sachs has acquired 5.4 per cent of Kindred Group, becoming the online gambling operator’s third largest shareholder. The news comes ahead of Française des Jeux’s proposed €125m acquisition of the company. 

The news points to high expectations that the French lottery operator’s deal will go ahead. However, there remains a significant risk of regulatory detailment. French authorities are concerned about the potential for antitrust issues, while the EU is investigating whether FDJ underpaid for lottery rights when it was privatised back in 2019.

Last month, a Swedish court reduced a fine issued against Kindred’s Spooniker subsidiary by SEK 70m (€6.1m) to SEK 30m (€2.6m). The original fine issued by the Swedish regulator, Spelinspektionen, in 2020 was SEK 100m, but the amount had already been reduced by the Administrative Court on appeal.

The fine was issued due to breaches of bonus rules that occurred in 2019. Under Sweden’s Gambling Act, operators can only offer a customer one single bonus offer on sign-up. However, Spelinspektionen found that Spooniker, whose brands include Unibet, iGame, Maria Casino, and Storspelare, had offered tournament rewards, prize draws and loyalty promotions that represented financial incentives and could be considered as bonuses. 

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