FDJ initiates buyout of Kindred Group through share purchase from Veralda

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
FDJ initiates buyout of Kindred Group through share purchase from Veralda

Groupe Française des Jeux SA (Groupe FDJ) has entered into a definitive agreement with Veralda, marking the commencement of its acquisition process of Kindred Group Plc. This agreement involves the purchase of 2.4 million shares at SEK 122.5 per share. This transaction signifies the official launch of FDJ’s acquisition strategy for Kindred, which was initially announced in January.

The Paris-based EuroNext gambling group had previously made a public offer of SEK 130 per share, thereby valuing Kindred at €2.45 billion. Veralda, an investment entity of Anders Ström, the founder and ex-chairman of Unibet Group (now known as Kindred), has agreed to sell 49 percent of its shareholding in Kindred Group. This sale corresponds to 1.12 percent of Kindred’s total shares and involves 2.4 million shares. Prior to this, FDJ had secured ‘irrevocable undertakings’ from various shareholders, representing 27.9 percent of the outstanding Kindred shares. A public offer was subsequently made to these shareholders to tender their shares to FDJ at a price not exceeding SEK 130 per share. The agreed price with Veralda for the 2.4 million shares amounts to approximately SEK 294 million (€21.5 million), representing 1.12 percent of the outstanding shares in Kindred. Veralda’s irrevocable undertaking remains valid for the firm’s remaining 1.16 percent stake in Kindred.

New European gaming entity

In addition to Veralda, FDJ continues to hold irrevocable undertakings with Corvex Management LP, Premier Investissement SAS, Eminence Capital, and Nordea. Collectively, these undertakings represent a total of 26.82 percent of outstanding shares in Kindred. FDJ initiated its public tender to acquire Kindred on 29 February, setting off a 39-week period for the public offer to be accepted. FDJ aims to complete the acquisition within this timeframe, fulfilling its ambition to become Europe’s second-largest gambling Plc by corporate value.

The acquisition of Kindred Group by Groupe Française des Jeux SA (FDJ) is a significant development in the European gambling industry. This move not only strengthens FDJ’s position but also signifies a strategic shift in the industry landscape. The unanimous recommendation from Kindred’s board for shareholders to accept FDJ’s all-cash offer reflects confidence in this strategic direction. As FDJ continues to secure irrevocable undertakings and navigates the acquisition process, the industry awaits the potential emergence of a new European gaming champion. This acquisition is not just a transaction; it’s a transformational step towards a sustainable and exciting future for all stakeholders involved.

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