M&A

Entain extends acceptance period for Enlabs bid to 18 March

| By Conor Mulheir
Industry giant Entain, formerly GVC Holdings, has extended the acceptance period for its proposed acquisition of Baltic-facing operator Enlabs, pushing back the deadline from 18 February to 18 March.
Businesspeople signing document

The operator said the acquisition is subject to the receipt of all necessary regulatory, governmental or similar clearances, including from competition authorities and gaming authorities.

Entain has filed applications to obtain the necessary approvals, it said, but due to the timing of the review process, it does not expect that all such approvals will have been received during the acceptance period ending 18 February.

It has therefore decided to extend the acceptance period until 17:00 CET on 18 March, 2021.

Provided Entain can announce that the conditions of the offer have been satisfied or waived on 23 March, it said, settlement can be expected to commence on or around 30 March.

All other terms and conditions set out in the offer document will continue to apply throughout the extended acceptance period.

Entain tabled its offer to acquire Enlabs on 7 January, in a deal worth £250m (€285.1m/$345.7m). The cash offer would see Entain pay SEK40 (£3.48/€3.97/$4.81) for each of Enlabs’ 69.9m shares.

The operator said the acquisition is directly aligned with its growth strategy of entering locally regulated markets where it does not yet have a presence.

When announcing its rebrand from GVC to Entain, the operator made a commitment to generate 100% of its revenue from locally regulated markets by 2023.

Enlabs’ position as the leading operator in Latvia, second largest in Estonia and one of the top five in Lithuania, meant the acquisition was therefore directly aligned with Entain’s strategy, the Bwin and Ladrbokes Coral operator said.

Full details of its bid to acquire Enlabs were put forward on 20 January, and Entain announced it had no plans for material change to the business’ operations, management or employees.

While Entain’s board and shareholders owning 42.2% of Enlabs have backed the deal, shareholders representing 10.7% of Enlabs have rejected the bid, saying that it “materially undervalues” the business, and concluding that the acquisition represented a good deal for Entain, but not for Enlabs minority shareholders.

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