NeoGames makes ‘transformational’ €410m offer for Aspire Global

NeoGames has submitted an offer worth SEK 111 per share to the shareholders of the Swedish gaming firm Aspire Global plc. 
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NeoGames has submitted an offer worth SEK 111 per share to the shareholders of the Swedish gaming firm Aspire Global plc, which has been ‘unanimously recommended’ by the board. 

The public tender offer values Aspire Global at a deal equivalent to SEK 4.3bn (€410m), representing a 41% premium on the firm’s 17 January closing trading price on the Nordic Nasdaq Exchange of SEK 78.50 (€7.60) per share.

The ilottery firm aims to acquire 50% of Aspire’s shareholding through its SEK 111 per share offer. Aspire’s remaining equity will be purchased through an issue of 7.6m new shares distributed by an enlarged NeoGames.

Moti Malul, CEO of NeoGames, commented: “This is a highly strategic and transformational transaction for NeoGames that represents perhaps one of the more important milestones for us as a company. 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 a 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. 

He continued: “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. 

“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.”

Aspire’s board noted that, for those investors who choose to be cash-rewarded, NeoGames’ deal would reflect 16.8x increase on EBITDA results, comparing favourably to M&A deal multiples registered in the igaming sector.

Under the terms of the deal, the ilottery firm will gain access to Aspire’s proprietary products and managed services offering as well as a large presence in the European, Latin American and African igaming markets. 

Meanwhile, Aspire is set to gain from NeoGames’ large presence in the US, fast-tracking its expansion strategy into North America. 

Following the completion of the deal, Aspire Global will continue to act independently and as the igaming division of the merged group. 

Tsachi Maimon, who will remain the CEO of Aspire Global group and be appointed to be the president of the NeoGames group, added: “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. 

“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 US 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. 

He concluded: “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. This is an exciting new chapter for my management and employees as we look to lead the space with high quality and innovative products.”