M&A

Entain increases Enlabs takeover offer to SEK3.7bn

| By Robert Fletcher
Gambling giant Entain has increased its acquisition offer for Enlabs from SEK40 per share to SEK53, valuing its overall bid for the Baltic-facing operator at SEK3.7bn (£314.6m/€363.9m/$439.2m).

Shareholders representing the majority of Enlabs have now backed the improved offer.

Entain lodged an initial bid for the Enlabs business in January – an offer valued at SEK3.9bn – while full details of the proposal were published later in the month.

Entain’s board and shareholders owning 42.2% of Enlabs had backed the offer, and Enlabs recommended the bid be accepted, but some minority Enlabs shareholders rejected the bid, saying that it “materially undervalues” the business.

In response, Entain has now tabled an increased bid, with the acceptance period to run until 18 March. Entain previously extended this period from 18 February in order to allow enough time to secure all necessary approvals for the deal.

Enlabs’ independent bid committee informed Entain it would recommend Enlabs shareholders accept the increased offer and that its formal statement will be announced no later than one week prior to the expiry of the acceptance period.

Including the 42.2% of Enlabs shares owned by Entain board and shareholders, a total of 51.0% of shareholders with shares and votes in Enlabs have backed the new offer.

Entain said it would not increase its offer again and, subject to final shareholder and regulatory approval, hopes to complete the acquisition by the end of March.

“Entain will be the best home for Enlabs, its employees and customers,” Entain chief financial officer and deputy chief executive Rob Wood said.

“Against this background, we have decided to make a final offer of SEK53 to all shareholders, providing an opportunity to exit their investment at a very attractive valuation.

“We are pleased that shareholders with around 51% have now irrevocably agreed to accept the offer and would urge other shareholders to do the same by 18 March.”

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