France's FDJ makes a $2.7 billion takeover offer for Kindred Group

French gaming company La Française des Jeux SA (FDJ) has announced that it has made an offer to acquire Unibet parent company Kindred Group. In a press release, FDJ stated that the offer is SEK 130 ($12.43) per share; Kindred said the cash proposal totals SEK 27.951 million ($2.7 billion).

The offer represents a 24% premium to Kindred's closing price on Friday and a 35% premium to its 30-day weighted average.

FDJ says the deal would give the company “stronger revenue and profit growth” than it would hope, making it Europe's second-largest gaming company. It promises to only operate in regulated markets or those “on the path to regulation.”

FDJ also assumes that the shareholder distribution will increase. Kindred's board of directors unanimously approved the transaction and, of course, encourages the company's shareholders to do the same.

In Press release from Monday, FDJ Chairman and CEO said of the possible acquisition: “Fully in line with our strategy, it will give the group a diversified and balanced profile based on several pillars: the monopoly activities, mainly the lottery, in our historic French market and since then .” November in Ireland with the takeover of the Irish lottery operator PLI; and online sports betting and gaming activities are open for competition in Europe.”

She added: “The combination will result in a stronger strategic positioning and significant value creation for the benefit of our shareholders and wider stakeholders.”

Kindred CEO Nils Andén also weighed in, saying the deal would create a “leading European gaming operator with the financial and strategic capabilities to further expand its global footprint.”

FDJ, 20% owned by the French government, is best known in France for its draw and scratch lotteries. The company also operates sports betting and online gambling sites.

Kindred, as already mentioned, owns the Unibet brand. Most other brands are best known in Europe, although players from around the world may also be familiar with 32Red and The company began a strategic review of its operations in April 2023 to “explore strategic alternatives for the business.”

The board said it would consider all options that “could create value for the company's shareholders, including the merger or sale of all or part of the company.” Since this option was mentioned, the industry and the investor world assumed that a sale would be the end result. Although nothing is set in stone, it seems like everyone is right.

Kindred Group shares rose 16.65% on the news, closing at SEK 121.90 ($11.69) on Monday.

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