French gaming and lottery company La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has made a bid to acquire Kindred Group for SEK27.96bn (£2.10bn/€2.45bn/$2.67bn). The offer was confirmed by both companies and involves paying SEK130 in cash for each Swedish Depository Receipt in Kindred, representing a 24.4% increase over the closing price of Kindred shares on January 19th.
Kindred has unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the offer, and the acceptance period is set to begin on February 20th. Five major Kindred shareholders, holding 27.9% of all shares, have already pledged their support for the offer. However, the deal is contingent on certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and at least 90% of Kindred shareholders accepting the offer.
FDJ aims to create a strong European gaming operator through this acquisition, expecting significant revenue and earnings growth. The company believes that the purchase will create value for its shareholders and anticipates a more than 10% increase in dividend per share starting from the 2025 financial year. The board of FDJ is fully behind the proposed acquisition, seeking to create a diversified and balanced profile based on several pillars of business.
Kindred’s CEO, Nils Andén, expressed excitement about the potential for growth and expansion through the acquisition, believing that combining with FDJ can accelerate strategic projects and provide trusted entertainment to customers. He also praised Kindred’s assets and employees, which were acknowledged and valued by FDJ.
The acquisition offer comes after Kindred initiated a strategic review and sought potential buyers in 2022, followed by a review of strategic alternatives in 2023. The ongoing strategic review has led to significant changes within Kindred, including the departure of its long-serving CEO and most of the executive team. The company is also in the process of withdrawing from the North American market and will announce its full-year results for 2023 on February 7th.
FDJ, the prospective new owner of Kindred, has been expanding its operations and recently acquired the Irish National Lottery, as well as a horse race betting operator, to diversify its online business. With revenue growing steadily, FDJ’s acquisition of Kindred is expected to further expand its geographic footprint and provide access to a proprietary sports betting platform.