Entain On Cusp of Acquiring Enlabs

Global gaming giant Entain has completed its public cash offer to shareholders of Enlabs — a Baltic-facing operator which it has been attempting to take over for some months now. The current offered price sits at SEK53 (£4.48/€5.21/$6.21) per share, with Enlabs’ shareholders accepting the recently revised offer put forth by Entain.

A view of the center of the Swedish capital city of Stockholm from the water.

Global gaming giant Entain has announced that it has met all necessary conditions for its takeover of Baltic-facing operator Enlabs, following its increased SEK53 per share bid offer earlier this month. The deal was aided by Entain’s wholly-owned subsidiary Bwin, with a majority of Enlabs’ shareholders already accepting the revised offer. ©2751030/Pixabay

Entain’s Revised Offer Accepted by Enlabs’ Shareholders

Global gaming tour de force Entain has recently completed its public cash offering in its attempted takeover of Baltic-facing operator Entain, with the process being facilitated through its subsidiary Bwin. Following Entain’s revised offering earlier this month, Enlabs’ shareholders have subsequently chosen to accept the offer, which currently sits at SEK53 (£4.48/€5.21/$6.21) per share. Enlabs’ shareholders hold a total of 65.9 million shares in the company, which is approximately 94.2% of the total number of shares and votes contained in Enlabs.

In a press release published on March 22nd, 2021, Entain confirmed that all conditions for the completion of the offer have now been satisfied and that the offer can thereby be declared unconditional. It also revealed that the settlement surrounding the Enlabs shares which were tendered no later than March 18th, 2021 is expected to occur on or around March 30th, 2021. Finally, the offer does not include any warrants issued by Enlabs, nor any warrants acquired by employees under the operator’s incentive program.

Entain Has Decided to Extend Deal’s Acceptance Period

In addition to Entain’s takeover bid of Baltic operator Enlabs, a separate offer has also been tendered, proposing that Entain acquire all interests owned by Enlabs warrant holders at a price equal to the see-through value of the warrants on the basis of the offer price. This additional offer has thus far been accepted by shareholders controlling 1.35 million out of a total of 1.4 million Enlabs warrants, which have been allotted and transferred to participants as part of the company’s incentive program.

Furthermore, Entain has made the decision to extend the acceptance period of its attempted acquisition of Enlabs until April 1st, 2021, thereby giving remaining Enlabs shareholders more time to accept its remaining proposals.

Entain’s acquisition of Enlabs is therefore expected to close around April 13th, 2021, with Entain making it clear that it will not extend the acceptance period any further. The global operator will now attempt to put forward compulsory acquisition proceedings for Enlabs shares which have not been tendered in Entain’s offer. Entain is also expected to demand that the Enlabs managing board applies for a delisting of the shares in question from the Nasdaq First North Growth Market.

Initial Offer to Acquire Enlabs Was Put Forward in January 2021

Entain’s initial offer to acquire Baltic-focused operator Enlabs was put on the table in January 2021, when the Sweden-based global gaming giant first offered to pay SEK40 per share in its attempted takeover of the operator.Further details concerning Entain’s offer were revealed later that same month, with the global giant explaining how it hoped its deal with Enlabs would help the company further expand into newer, burgeoning European markets such as Belarus and Ukraine.

Entain cited Enlabs’ regional market and brand power, along with its own scale, proprietary technology, product, marketing and regulatory expertise, as valuable assets which could be used to further accelerate the global giant’s growth and expansion into untapped territories.

Enlabs, which is operated by the brand Optibet, mostly offers online sports betting and gaming brands across the Baltic countries, while also maintaining a small retail presence in the region.

Entain Recently Upped Bid in Attempt to Takeover Enlabs

Following its initial offer to acquire Optibet brand Enlabs in January 2021, Entain returned to the negotiating table with a revised and increased offer at the outset of March. As part of the revised offer, Entain significantly increased its offer from SEK40 per share up to SEK53 per share, with the gaming giant’s overall takeover bid now standing at SEK3.7 billion (£314.6m/€363.9m/$439.2m).

Despite its board and shareholders initially backing the offer, Entain, which was previously known as GVC before undergoing a rebranding initiative in November 2020, increased its bid in response to a minority of Enlabs shareholders rejecting the initial offer, claiming that it “materially undervalued” the business. The bid’s previous acceptance period ran until March 18th, 2021, having been initially extended from February 18th in order to allow enough time to secure all necessary approvals for the deal.

As mentioned previously, while all necessary conditions for the deal to go through have already been met, the acceptance period has nevertheless now been extended once again — this time to April 1st, 2021.

After an independent bid committee organized on behalf of Enlabs aimed to encourage the operator’s shareholders to accept the increased offer, a majority of shareholders came out in support of the new bid — a total of 51% of shareholders to be exact. Following the encouraging news, Entain informed observers that it would not increase its offer to acquire Enlabs once again.

And while Entain initially hoped the entire acquisition process would wrap up by the end of March 2021, the newly set closing date of April 13th is not much farther away either.

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