Live casino game developer Evolution has announced an agreement to acquire fellow game developer Big Time Gaming.
According to Evolution, formerly Evolution Gaming, the studio will acquire Big Time Gaming for €450 million, payable in cash and Evolution shares. Under the terms of the agreement, Evolution will pay €220 million up-front.
What’s more, Evolution will pay earn-out payments based on Big Time Gaming’s EBITDA for the period 2022-23 and 2023-24. The earn-out payments, as explained by Evolution, will amount to a maximum of €230 million and become payable in 2023 and 2024.
Evolution’s up-front consideration will be payable as €80 million in cash and the rest in newly issued Evolution shares. The up-front consideration will be paid, and the shares will be issued at the completion of the transaction.
Evolution estimates that the acquisition of Big Time Gaming, whose revenue amounted to €33 million with an EBITDA of €29 million for the year 2020, will contribute positively to Evolution’s 2021 EPS.
Big Time Gaming is a game developer best known as the creator of the MegaWays game engine in which the number of paylines and symbols per reel change with each spin. The developer, which now licenses the MegaWays engine out to other studios, has released dozens of popular slots, including Bonanza and Extra Chilli MegaWays.
Jens von Bahr, the Chairman at Evolution, said in a statement: “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 mindset at Evolution. We look forward to continuing our journey together.”
Nik Robinson, the CEO at Big Time Gaming, added: “Evolution and Big Time Gaming are both driven by innovation, hence the perfect match. A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players.”
The news comes after Evolution announced that it had acquired fellow game developer NetEnt and its subsidiary Red Tiger Gaming in December 2020. The two acquisitions are part of Evolution’s goal of becoming the “leading provider of digital casino games in the world”.
The above news comes as betting shops in England and Wales reopen today (April 12) as lockdown restrictions are eased across the countries. From today, betting shops, swimming pools, indoor gyms, nail salons, and hairdressers have all been allowed to reopen, in addition to outdoor dining and pub gardens.
However, betting shops are still required to impose restrictions, such as limiting the number of customers within betting shops at any one time to eight people. According to the BGC, betting shops will also limit the time a customer can stay within the shop, and there will be no live sports, no chairs, and a maximum of two gaming machines per shop.
Despite the heavy restrictions, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has praised the reopening of betting shops in England and Wales, highlighting how the industry supports thousands of jobs in the UK and has significantly contributed to the country’s economy.
Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the BGC, said in a statement: “It’s great news that high street betting shops in England and Wales are finally able to reopen safely, along with the rest of non-essential retail.
“It’s been a long three months for betting shop staff, as well as their customers, and I know they are all looking forward to safely getting back to business thanks to the best-in-class anti-Covid measures in place.”
“As the recent EY report showed, the UK’s betting shops support 46,000 jobs and paid nearly £1bn in tax to the Treasury in 2020 while our members contribute £350m to horseracing through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy.”
“This means that as well as providing a much-needed boost for the millions of people who enjoy a flutter, they will also be able to play a key role in the UK’s post-Covid economy recovery.”
Although betting shops have been given the green light to reopen today, casinos and bingo halls will have to wait until May 17th, as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown. The final date in the roadmap, June 21st, will see all social contact rules lift.
Also this week, MansionBet has announced that it will be sponsoring Sky Sports Racing’s pr-live and US stateside programming. Under the new agreement, MansionBet will sponsor 360 races across 60 fixtures in the UK along with the operator’s race day previews and racing reviews.
Dana Bocker, the Head of Integrated Marketing at Mansion, said in a statement to GamblingInsider: “Having invested in horseracing sponsorships over the last couple of years, we have increased our brand awareness among racing enthusiasts.
“The sponsorship of Sky Sports Racing is a natural progression and puts us in front of over 2 million targeted regular viewers with a keen passion for racing. We are looking forward to seeing how this partnership can take us to the next level.”
Glen Swinney, the Commerical and International Manager at Sky Sports Racing, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with MansionBet, who have shown a clear commitment to horseracing, at a time when Sky Sports Racing continues to reach significant monthly numbers.
“With action around the corner including the Boodles Chester May Festival, Royal Ascot, and the French Classics and the Triple Crown from the US, it is a great time to welcome MansionBet to the channel.”