LeoVegas faces “preliminary investigation” over share trading in Sweden

LeoVegas has received a takeover offer from MGM Resorts.
LeoVegas has received a takeover offer from MGM Resorts.

An investigation is looking into suspicions of insider trading, the authority said.

Sweden.- The Swedish Economic Crime Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) has confirmed that it has begun a preliminary investigation into potential insider trading in LeoVegas shares. The gaming firm’s shares are listed on the Stockholm Nasdaq.

The probe comes a month after MGM Resorts offered €576.6m to acquire the company. LeoVegas says that no employee, executive or board member has been notified about any criminal suspicion and has no further information to provide at this time.

MGM’s offer for LeoVegas valued it at a 44.1 per cent premium over its share price. The US casino giant said the acquisition would allow it to create and scale a global online gaming business. It said its aim was to accelerate growth outside of the US with an experienced online gaming team and good technology capabilities.

MGM Resorts currently offers online gambling in the US through its BetMGM joint venture with UK-based Entain, and the deal raises questions about the future of that enterprise since MGM will now be competing with Entain outside of the US.

LeoVegas, which has licences in eight jurisdictions, mainly in the Nordics and elsewhere in Europe, has allowed MGM Resorts to carry out a due diligence review.

The deal could close in the second half of the year if it receives the approval of 90 per cent of LeoVegas shareholders. Key shareholders together holding 15.3 per cent of the company’s shares have already said they will vote in favour. They include chairman Gustaf Hagman, the biggest shareholder. Board member Torsten Söderberg, who owns 4.6 per cent, has not agreed to vote but has lent his support to the deal.

In April, LeoVegas announced it was launching a new tech hub in Warsaw, Poland, to focus on new technology development and innovation. It intends to hire 60 developers to work at the site over the next two years while also making new hires in the UK, Sweden and Netherlands.

LeoVegas said it had identified a “growing demand” for technological development to complement its international expansion and “future-proof” its customer experience capability for products, personalisations and payments.

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