Evolution closes NetEnt Live amid restructuring & business streamlining

Gaming giant Evolution has taken its total holding in NetEnt to approximately 96.8 per cent of the outstanding shares and 98.6 per cent of votes, confirmed the group upon expiry of the extended acceptance period for the offer.

The new company will operate as a single organisation under the Evolution banner, following its corporate brand change in early October, and will continue to offer products under the four brands of Evolution, Ezugi, NetEnt and Red Tiger.

The transaction cleared its UK Competition and Markets Authority hurdle last month, after an almost two month long investigation to analyse if the purchase would lessen the competition in the region’s igaming market. Approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority came on September 29, 2020.

Evolution had initially expressed an expectation of closing the transaction on November 2, with an acceptance period commencing on August 17, 2020 and expiring on or around October 26, 2020.

Following its latest update, Evolution also confirms that it has ‘initiated a compulsory buy-out procedure in accordance with the Swedish Companies Act for the purpose of acquiring those shares not submitted in the offer’. 

Furthermore, NetEnt has also applied for the delisting of its shares from Nasdaq Stockholm, with the last day for trading to be published when the stock exchange has made a decision.

Documenting the make-up of the enlarged company further still, Evolution has initiated ‘a total reorganisation and integration’ of NetEnt. This means that, among other things, the management of Evolution assumes operational responsibility.

This restructuring has also led to a ‘streamlining of the business’ within the development of slots games, as well as the NetEnt Live business proposition closing down.

These measures, Evolution says, will also have consequences within business support units within the company, and are in line with previously communicated synergy goals.

Therese Hillman, current CEO of NetEnt, will continue to work to support the integration of the companies in the coming months, and is scheduled to leave after the first quarter of 2021.