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NeoGames makes €420m bid to acquire Aspire Global

18th January 2022 8:02 am GMT
Aspire Global
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New York-listed gaming supplier NeoGames has made a bid to acquire Aspire Global for approximately €420m.

The proposed acquisition will establish the enlarged group as a leading online supplier in the gaming and lottery industries and will accelerate Aspire Global’s entry into the US market through NeoGames existing presence.

NeoGames is offering SEK111 in cash per Aspire Global share, which represents a premium of 41.40 per cent compared to the closing price of SEK78.50 per share on January 17.

Aspire Global’s main shareholders Barak Matalon, Pinhas Zahavi, Elyahu Azur, Aharon Aran and Oded Gottfried, who represent 66.96 per cent of the company’s voting rights, have entered into irrevocable undertakings to accept SEK111 per share for 50 per cent of their existing shareholding, with the balance payable in the form of Swedish depository receipts at a rate of 0.320 NeoGames shares for each share in Aspire Global.

The Mix & Match Facility is open to all shareholders and equates to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 13.6x, rising to a multiple of 16.8x for those accepting the all-cash offer.

“Aspire Global is a high quality, leading supplier with a one stop shop in the regulated gaming industry. Following the acquisition of Btobet, Pariplay, the recent investment in bingo and the divestment of the B2C division and now this potential merger with NeoGames, we will create a leading global supplier for the entirety of the iGaming and iLottery space overnight,” said Tsachi Maimon, CEO of Aspire Global.

“I strongly believe that the two companies are well matched with a solid cultural connection forged over many years of working together which will facilitate meaningful revenue synergies. The deal will allow us to leverage NeoGames’ presence in the U.S. to grow even further in this market whilst continuing to roll out new products and support the growth of our regulated clients in Europe, Latin America, Africa and North America.”

“Setting aside the value creation from a financial perspective, both NeoGames and Aspire Global will be able to offer a state-of-the-art enhanced gaming solution as well as supporting growth for existing and new clients,” Maimon added. “This is an exciting new chapter for my management and employees as we look to lead the space with high quality and innovative products”

The proposed transaction is subject to certain conditions and is expected to close in the first half of this year, with Oakvale Capital acting as financial advisor to Aspire Global’s Bid Committee.

The combined company is expected to be led by Moti Malul, who will continue as CEO, and Raviv Adler as CFO of NeoGames. Tsachi Maimon, the CEO of Aspire Global, is expected join NeoGames as President and lead the newly formed online gaming division. The current board of directors of NeoGames will remain in place and be responsible for governance of the combined entity.

“This is a highly strategic and transformational transaction for NeoGames that represents perhaps one of the more important milestones for us as a company,” said Moti Malul, chief executive of NeoGames. “We believe that the combination of our two very successful companies will create a leading global provider across all forms of online lottery, sports betting and gaming that would have significant global active presence in many key markets.

“As a pure-play iLottery provider, we have experienced first-hand the strong convergence and expansion trend of lotteries in many countries globally into online gaming verticals and we believe that with this transaction we will become an even better strategic partner to our existing and future customers.

“We are excited to also be able to become a leading global provider to regulated gaming operators through the vast experience and product set that Aspire Global brings to our combined entity, together with profound operational experience which is a crucial success factor,” Malul added. “The strong ties and cultural fit between the companies, where significant parts of our management teams have worked together and cooperated along the years, provides a great platform for future collaboration and success”.

Shares in Aspire Global plc. (STO:ASPIRE) closed at SEK78.50 per share in Stockholm Monday, while shares in NeoGames SA (NASDAQ:NGMS) closed at $24.62 per share in New York.

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