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Following the addition of Swedish slot machine manufacturer NetEnt to its ranks late last year, live casino specialist Evolution is set to expand its business further with the acquisition of another major slot machine manufacturer.
The company announced on Monday that it had entered into an agreement to purchase online casino game developer Big Time Gaming (BTG) for 450 million euros. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.
Evolution said it would pay € 220 million in advance for BTG, € 80 million in cash and the remainder in newly issued shares of the expanded group. In addition, it will make payments based on the EBITDA of the slot machine studio for 2022/23 and 2023/24 respectively, which will amount to a maximum of 230 million euros and will be paid in 2023 and 2024. Refunds will be paid 70% in cash and 30% in newly issued Evolution shares.
Based in Australia, BTG has been part of the online gaming space for over a decade. The company gained immense notoriety in 2016 when the Megaways mechanic was launched and was instantly successful.
The company began licensing its unique invention to other game developers in 2018 and the offer can now be found in over 200 online slots from a number of vendors.
Commenting on his decision to acquire BTG, Evolution Chairman Jens von Bahr said:
With the addition of the studio and its content to our portfolio, we will strengthen our strategic position as the world's leading provider of digital casino games.
Mr Bar added:
BTG's emphasis on innovation and creating a unique gaming experience fits perfectly with the culture and mindset of Evolution. We are looking forward to starting our journey together.
BTG CEO Nik Robinson said: Our company and its new owner are committed to innovation, which means they are perfect for each other. We promise our players a bright and exciting future. This is the second major acquisition announced by Evolution in the past year.
A Live Casino expert submitted an offer to buy NetEnt, valuing the online slots giant at SEK 19.6 billion (approximately $ 2.2 billion). At the time, Evolution said it expects the deal to "create a company that can gain significant market share" thanks to Evolution's leadership in live dealer games and NetEnt's position in online slots.
Both companies have aggressively sought to expand their US operations over the past several years as a rapidly growing number of states move to and regulate online casino-style gaming.
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