Kindred Group takeover receives Sweden regulatory green light

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Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: February 21, 2024 03:15 PST

Kindred Group's path to being acquired by France's La Française des Jeux (LFJ) has cleared its first regulatory hurdle. LFJ has received the go-ahead from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA) to move forward with its tender offer to acquire Kindred Group, which is the corporate parent of Unibet Poker and several other well-known online gambling brands.

Last month, La Francaise des Jeux made the offer to acquire Kindred Group at a price significantly above the recent price range for Kindred Group shares, which are traded on the NASDAQ Stockholm exchange. The deal, valued at USD $2.8 billion, received unanimous approval from Kindred Group's board of directors, which is comprised of prominent shareholders who collectively control about 28% of Kindred's outstanding stock.

The SFSA's offer was approved on Monday and allows LFJ to transmit its offer to Kindred Group's shareholder class. LFJ's offer was launched on Tuesday and will remain open for as much as 39 weeks.

LFJ seeks to reach 90% ownership threshold

LFJ, which began its existence as a French-government entity affiliated with that country's national lottery, has grown rapidly in recent years after being privatized and has sought to expand its European footprint. The tender offer, according to LFJ's latest announcement, will not be completed until the company acquires 90% of Kindred Group.

The next major step in the takeover is Kindred Group's scheduling of an Extraordinary General Meeting for March 15, 2024. At that time, shareholders will vote on whether or not to change Kindred Group's articles of association to introduce a squeeze-out clause, which would create a procedure for LFJ to acquire the remaining shares of Kindred Group if and when the owners of 90% of Kindred Group stock have already agreed to LFJ's tender offer.

Once it is wholly owned by LFJ, Kindred Group could be privatized and delisted from the NASDAQ Stockholm exchange. Kindred's notice of March's special meeting includes details on how the squeeze-out would be enacted.