Evolution Acquire Big Time Gaming for €450 Million
Evolution, a leader in the live-stream casino games, has been in the spotlight lately for acquiring a renowned slots developer NetEnt for €1.87 billion and with it a fast-growing slots studio Red Tiger which had just merged with NetEnt. Today the iGaming behemoth has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Big Time Gaming for a total consideration of up to EUR 450 million, payable in cash and Evolution shares. It is yet to receive regulatory approvals and is expected during Q2 2021. When approved, Evolution will become a dominant force in the online slots provision as it is now in the live casino. See highlights of the full report below for Evolution’s strategic rationale and financing of the biggest deal of 2021 so far.
Transaction highlights and strategic rationale
Big Time Gaming is the thought leader in online slots. Big Time Gaming titles include world-wide player favourites like Bonanza and Extra Chilli as well as the ground-breaking Game Mechanic Megaways™ which is incorporated in over 200 games from multiple providers.
“With the addition of Big Time Gaming to our portfolio of slot brands we strengthen our strategic position as the leading provider of digital casino games in the world. Big Time’s focus on innovation and creating unique playing experiences is a great fit with our culture and mind-set at Evolution. We look forward to continuing our journey together.” – Jens von Bahr, chairman, Evolution
“Evolution and Big Time Gaming are both driven by innovation, hence the perfect match. A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players.” – Nik Robinson, CEO, Big Time Gaming
Big Time Gaming revenue amounted to EUR 33 million with an EBITDA of EUR 29 million for the calendar year 2020. The transaction is estimated to contribute positively to 2021 EPS for the Evolution Group.
Consideration and financing
The total up-front consideration payable by Evolution in the Transaction is EUR 220 million. In addition, Evolution will pay earn-out payments, based on Big Time Gaming’s EBITDA for the years 2022/23 and 2023/24, respectively. The earn-out payments will amount to a maximum of EUR 230 million, and become payable in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
The up-front consideration will be payable as to EUR 80 million in cash and the remainder in newly issued Evolution shares. The cash part of the up-front consideration will be paid, and the share part of the up-front consideration will be issued, at completion of the Transaction. The Evolution shares issued as part of the up-front consideration will be valued at a price equivalent to the volume weighted average price of the Evolution share on Nasdaq Stockholm during the period 23rd March – 7th April 2021 (an expected issue of 1,120,000 shares).
The earn-out consideration will be payable 70% in cash and 30% in newly issued Evolution shares. The Evolution shares to be issued as part of the earn-out consideration will be valued at a price equivalent to the volume weighted average price of the Evolution share on Nasdaq Stockholm at the time the earn-out shares are issued.
That being said, this speaks of some very interesting times for both slots and live game fans throughout the world. This includes the US, where Evolution has established itself as a leader in eligible states like New Jersey. Stay tuned for more announcements!