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Evolution wins 90% NetEnt shareholder approval for acquisition

| By Robert Fletcher
Live dealer specialist Evolution has revealed more than 90% of all shareholders in NetEnt have accepted its proposed bid for the slots giant.

Evolution in June tabled a bid of SEK79.93 per share, valuing NetEnt at SEK19.6bn (£1.70bn/€1.92bn/$2.28bn), in a deal it said would supports its expansion efforts in the UK.

The offer was conditional on Evolution securing the approval of more than 90% of NetEnt’s shareholders. The acceptance period for shareholders had been due to expire on 31 October, but this was extended to 20 November, with Evolution having hoped to declare the offer as unconditional by today (23 November).

Though Evolution is yet to confirm the unconditional offer, it has said that based on its preliminary estimates, approximately 94% of NetEnt shareholders have accepted the acquisition offer.

Evolution noted that the final count is ongoing and the outcome of this could be published later today.

The acquisition offer had also been subject to a review by and approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which was secured last week, though the CMA is yet to publish its full reasoning for this decision.

The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority in September also gave the deal the green light, meaning Evolution now has all necessary competition approvals for the deal to proceed.

Subject to final approval from NetEnt’s shareholders, Evolution expects to begin settlement of the acquisition deal from 1 December.

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