The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has started an investigation on whether Evolution Gaming’s proposed acquisition of NetEnt would reduce competition in the igaming industry in the region.
CMA opened its inquiry on September 22 and has invited any interested parties to give comments on the proposed acquisition agreement until October 5. CMA will analyse this feedback and announce whether the investigation will proceed to a second phase on or before November 16.
Stockholm-listed Evolution’s offer for NetEnt amounts to SEK79.93 per share, which represented a premium of 43% over NetEnt’s closing price on Nasdaq Stockholm at the time.
At the time of the offer, Evolution said that shareholders owning around 20% of NetEnt shares indicated they would accept the offer, while the board of directors also unanimously recommended other shareholders back the bid.
In addition, board members who in total directly or indirectly control 8.48% of shares and 23.20% of votes in NetEnt expressed they intended to undertake to accept the offer.
NetEnt chairman Mathias Hedlund also welcomed the offering and said that the combination of his group’s reach in online slots and Evolution’s live casino product would give it greater leverage in expanding markets, such as North America.