Evolution Gaming set to acquire Big Time Gaming in big-time deal
In an announcement sending shockwaves through the industry, live entertainment company Evolution Gaming is set to add another big name studio to their growing collection of top-tier casino gaming providers. The latest is none other than Aussie innovators Big Time Gaming who have entered an agreement to sell their entire share capital to the Stockholm-based company.
Big Time Gaming is considered by players and industry insiders as a world leader in slot design, so their acquisition would greatly strengthen Evolution’s portfolio. As well as releasing perennial favourites such as Bonanza and Extra Chilli, BTG’s Megaways engine has gone on to power over 200 games – both theirs and their competitors via a successful licensing program. This has led to profits of €33 million in 2020, which would positively impact Evolution Gaming’s future accounts. As well as boosting their profile with a highly regarded studio, the Evolution Group is predicted to benefit financially from the deal with increased earnings per share (EPS) for 2021.
Delving into the numbers, the deal is worth up €450 million, with the remuneration split between cash and shares. €220 million would be paid upfront – €80 million of that amount in cash, with the rest consisting of newly issued Evolution shares. Shares for the deal have been valued using the volume-weighted average price on Nasdaq Stockholm from March 23 – April 7. The number is expected to total 1,120,000 shares.
In addition, Big Time Gaming will receive earn-out payments, calculated on their EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) for 2023 and 2024, up to the value of €230 million.
Spokespeople from both companies are optimistic about the deal, with Evolution chairman Jens von Bahr stating that ‘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 Gaming’s focus on innovation and creating unique playing experiences is a great fit with our culture and mindset at Evolution.’
In turn, Big Time Gaming’s CEO Nik Robinson mirrored the sentiment when he said, ‘Evolution and Big Time Gaming are both driven by innovation, hence the perfect match. A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players.’
The Big Time Gaming buyout follows the bombshell dropped in December 2020, when Evolution acquired NetEnt, (who had themselves previously acquired Red Tiger) in a €2 billion deal. This latest merger brings together some of the biggest names in the business under one diverse conglomerate of iGaming juggernauts. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.