French gaming company La Française des Jeux SA (FDJ) has made an all-cash €2.6 billion ($2.9 billion) offer for online rival Kindred Group, in a deal aimed at creating one of Europe’s largest online gambling companies.
FDJ said the deal would create the second-biggest operator in Europe’s gaming sector.
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“In particular, it is expected to lead to a more than 10% accretion in dividend per share, starting from the 2025 financial year to be paid in 2026,” the French company said, adding that the offer had been unanimously recommended by Kindred’s board of directors.
Kindred confirmed Sunday a takeover bid by FDJ, saying its board had been evaluating options to “deliver shareholder value” since April 2023. The Wall Street Journal had first reported the potential for a deal between the two companies on Sunday.
Paris-based FDJ offers online sports betting and gambling, and operates France’s national lottery. In November, it acquired Premier Lotteries Ireland, which runs Ireland’s national lottery.
Kindred , which is headquartered in Malta and traded on Stockholm’s exchange, offers online gambling over nine brands in Europe, North America and Australia. In November, Kindred announced it would exit the North American market by mid-2024 to focus on its core market in Europe.
The deal will give FDJ a “diversified and balanced profile, based on several pillars: the monopoly activities, mainly the lottery, on our French historical market and, since November, in Ireland, with the acquisition of the Irish lottery operator PLI; and online sports betting and gaming activities open to competition in Europe,” said Stéphane Pallez, chairwoman and CEO of FDJ Group, in a statement.
A FDJ-Kindred combined company would only operate in markets that have local regulation or with plans to be regulated, the French group said.