MGM Resorts makes €576.6m sweep for Sweden’s LeoVegas


The move would see the US land-based casino giant move into the European market.

Sweden.- The board of the Sweden-based online gaming operator LeoVegas has unanimously backed a SEK61 (€5.85) per share offer from US casino giant MGM Resorts. The deal values LeoVegas at €576.6m and would mark MGM Resorts’ entry into the European online gaming market.

MGM’s offer for the entirety of LeoVegas’ share capital represents a 44 per cent premium over its closing share price on Friday. It intends to fund the deal through existing cash reserves.

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.

Bill Hornbuckle, chief executive and president of MGM Resorts, said: “Our vision is to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company, and this strategic opportunity with LeoVegas will allow us to continue to grow our reach throughout the world.

“We have achieved remarkable success with BetMGM in the US, and with the acquisition of LeoVegas in Europe we will expand our online gaming presence globally. 

“We believe that this offer creates a compelling opportunity that allows the combined teams of MGM Resorts and LeoVegas to accelerate our global digital gaming growth and fully realize the potential of our omnichannel strategy. We look forward to being able to welcome the LeoVegas team to our MGM Resorts family.”

Shareholders voice support for deal

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.

LeoVegas’ board said in a statement: “LeoVegas operates in an industry which is characterised by, inter alia, high innovation pace, new regulation and consolidation. In this context, the board of directors believes that the industrial logic and strategic fit between LeoVegas and MGM is attractive and should serve both the company and its employees well in the future.”

Last month, 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.

See alsoLeoVegas Group introduces personalised deposit limits in the UK

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