Kindred Group Plc, the Swedish company which owns the Unibet and Maria gaming brands, has agreed to buy UK-focused 32Red Plc for £175.6 million ($219 million), in the latest round of online gaming consolidation.
Takeover talk this month have sent shares in 32Red soaring. The offer is 40% higher than the average price of 32Red shares in the past three months, Kindred told the market in a statement Thursday. This latest deal will allow Kindred to strengthen their presence in the tightly regulated UK online gambling market.
Kindred, which bought gambling business Stan James in 2015, has believed to have been interested in 32Red for some time. The fall in the value of the pound and the threat from other potential buyers was seen as key to the Swedish company’s takeover. As well as the brand 32Red, the deal will also include Roxy Palace Casino and several smaller Microgaming-powered casinos.
This latest takeover, which is expected to get over the line before the end of the week, is just the latest in a long line of mergers and acquisitions in the gambling sector. In 2015 British bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral agreed to Merge and later that year betting firms Paddy Power and Betfair agreed a similar deal.