FDJ buys Kindred Shareholding of Veralda 

Groupe FDJ has penned an agreement to acquire ZEturf Group, one of France’s largest online horse race and sports betting brands
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Groupe Française des Jeux SA (Groupe FDJ) has reached an agreement with Veralda for the purchase of 2.4m shares held in gambling group Kindred Group Plc  for SEK 122.5 a share. 

The transaction officially marks the start of FDJ’s acquisition of Kindred, initiated in January which saw the Paris EuroNext gambling group tender a public offer of SEK 130 per share to shareholders valuing Kindred at €2.45bn.

Veralda is the investment vehicle of Anders Ström – the founder and former chairman of Unibet Group which Kindred formerly traded as until its corporate rebrand in 2016. Ström resigned from all corporate duties in 2022, but remained as an investor of Kindred via Veralda. 

Dealmakers informed that Veralda has agreed to sell 49% of its shareholding in Kindred Group, reflecting a purchase of 2.4m shares and corresponding to 1.12% of Kindred’s corporate shareholding. 

FDJ first obtained ‘irrevocable undertakings’ with various shareholders representing 27.9% of the outstanding Kindred shares. A public offer was then made to those shareholders to tender their shares to FDJ for a price no bigger than SEK 130 per share. 

The agreed price with Veralda of SEK 122.5 per share for 2.4m shares constitutes around SEK 294m (€21.5m), and makes up 1.12% of the outstanding shares in Kindred. Veralda’s irrevocable undertaking continues to be applicable for the firm’s remaining 1.16% stake in Kindred. 

Alongside Veralda, FDJ still maintains irrevocable undertakings with Corvex Management LP, Premier Investissement SAS, Eminence Capital, and Nordea, which together amount to a total of 26.82% of outstanding shares in Kindred.  

FDJ launched its public tender to acquire Kindred on 29 February, triggering a 39-week period for its public offer to be accepted. FDJ seeks to conclude the acquisition within the timeframe, and fulfil its ambitions to become Europe’s second largest gambling Plc by corporate value.