Evolution is set to continue its expansion with the newly announced acquisition of Big Time Gaming, following its purchase of NetEnt last December. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Evolution set to expand
Evolution Gaming Group is set to acquire Big Time Gaming after entering into an agreement to purchase the online slot developer in a deal valued at up to €450m ($535.6m).
The acquisition of Big Time Gaming’s entire issued share capital will be made in cash and Evolution shares. €220m ($262m) will be transferred upon completion, while subsequent earn-out payments will be based on the slot developer’s EBITDA for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years.
Of the up-front consideration, €80m ($95.3m) will be paid in cash and the remainder via an expected issue of 1.1 million Evolution shares. The deal should reach completion in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Another positive step for the supplier
The online live casino supplier mentioned that the acquisition will be a positive step in its financing for 2021, due to Big Time Gaming’s standing as an online slot developer. Evolution chair Jens von Bahr sees the slots company’s inclusion into the supplier’s portfolio as a way to “strengthen our strategic position as the leading provider of digital casino games in the world.”
Big Time Gaming’s 2020 revenue reached €33m ($39.3m)
The slots company provides its products to more than 350 operators, with titles including Bonanza and Extra Chilli, alongside its Megaways game engine. Big Time Gaming’s 2020 revenue reached €33m ($39.3m) while its EBITDA was €29m ($34.5m).
Evolution has appointed law firm Wiggin LLP as its lead advisor for the transaction with Addisons, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Gernandt & Danielsson to provide support. Big Time Gaming has opted for Oakvale Capital LLP, Teacher Stern, and BDO as its own advisors in conjunction with the deal.
Deal welcomed by both parties
In a statement outlining the key terms to the potential acquisition, Jens von Bahr described “Big Time’s focus on innovation and creating unique playing experiences” as a great fit with Evolution’s company culture.
The chairperson added that the deal will help strengthen Evolution’s “strategic position” as a leading digital casino games provider. He also said he was looking forward to the two companies continuing their journey together.
A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players.”
Big Time Gaming CEO Nik Robinson added: “Evolution and Big Time Gaming are both driven by innovation, hence the perfect match. A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players.”
Big Time Gaming follows NetEnt acquisition
The latest acquisition by Evolution follows the supplier’s purchase of NetEnt, which was completed in December 2020 in a deal worth SEK19.6bn ($2.89bn).
NetEnt has since been integrated by Evolution, with NetEnt CEO Therese Hillman stepping down in March after helping with the transition. The process resulted in hundreds of NetEnt employees being made redundant after its live dealer office in Malta closed down.
The acquisition also helped Evolution post a healthy revenue increase for 2020. The supplier saw its operating revenue rise 53% for the full-year 2020, up to €561.1m ($668.3m) for the period, with its profit increasing 90% up to €284.6m ($338.9m). Of its revenue for 2020, €17.8m ($21.2m) came from NetEnt games.