Stockholm-listed Evolution Gaming has acquired rival live dealer provider Ezugi in a deal which could be worth US$18m.

Evolution will pay an initial consideration of $12m to acquire Ezugi, and possible additional consideration of a maximum of $6m.

The supplier said that the deal would increase its geographic footprint and accelerate growth in key markets, particularly in Romania and the US.

Ezugi currently operates from multiple studios worldwide and delivers B2B mobile and online live dealer solutions in New Jersey and Oklahoma, as well as across Europe, Latin America and South Africa.

The acquisition is expected to add 2 to 4 per cent to Evolution’s 2019 revenue and be slightly accretive to the company’s earnings per share next year. Completion is planned for early 2019 and remains subject to certain closing conditions.

“I am pleased about this agreement,” said Evolution chief executive Martin Carlesund. “It is a very logical next step for Evolution which will increase our market share in key existing markets, like the US, where Ezugi’s presence and customer base will add to our on-going market expansion as well as add licensees in new markets, such as South Africa.”

Evolution chairman and founder Jens von Bahr added: "This strategic deal will see Evolution increase its geographic footprint and accelerate growth. It will enable us to fast-track the accessibility to Evolution’s top-ranking software as well as to support continued industry leadership by adding well-established development teams and operational resources.”

The deal follows Evolution’s recent launch in the US with its ninth studio in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Currently, Evolution and Ezugi are the only live casino providers operating in the US market.

“Announcing this agreement gives me great satisfaction,” said Ezugi CEO and founder Kfir Kugler. “Ezugi has come a long way since it was founded in 2012 and becoming part of Evolution marks the right next step for us.

“Evolution’s superior offering in areas such as streaming quality and speed, user experience, game choice and all-round operational excellence will help bring the service to the current Ezugi operators to the next level.”

Shares in Evolution Gaming Group AB (STO:EVO) were trading up 2.90 per cent on the news to SEK586.00 per share in Stockholm Thursday.

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