Allez Pallez! Racing To Euro Dominance, FDJ Posts €2.6bn Kindred Bid

French national lottery operator, FDJ, has posted a €2.6 billion all-cash bid (£2.22bn) for Swedish-origin iGaming operator Kindred — with the aim of forging a new European gambling supergroup.

The value of Kindred shares surged 16.56 percent–and counting–in early morning trading today on the Stockholm Nasdaq stock exchange, where the Malta-headquartered owner of nine top gaming brands, among them Unibet, Maria Casino and 32Red, is listed.

FDJ, Française des Jeux, literally “The French Company of Games”–sponsors of the top eponymous cycle racing team–, was founded in 1933 by the state to raise money for victims of the First World War.

Privatised in November 2019 and now headed by CEO Stéphane Pallez, FDJ aims to create the second largest gambling operator in Europe if the deal, which sets Kindred Group shares at a 24 percent premium of SEK130-per-share (£9.79), is accepted.

According to highly-placed sources, Kindred’s board, with strong backing from principal stakeholders, has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer.

“I am pleased to announce today the proposed acquisition of Kindred,” FDJ CEO Pallez confirmed today.

She affirmed: “The combination will result in a stronger strategic positioning and significant value creation for the benefit of our shareholders and broader stakeholders.”


Kindred’s new CEO Nils Andén, who only took over from the group’s Co-founder Henrik Tjärnström in May last year, responded:

“I’m delighted with today’s transaction announcement. [This will create] a leading European gaming operator with the financial and strategic capabilities to further expand its global footprint.

“I believe that combining with FDJ, Kindred can accelerate the delivery of long-term strategic projects, continue to grow in core markets, and provide a trusted source of entertainment to customers.

“It will also speed up our path towards 100 percent locally regulated revenue.

“I’m excited to bring Kindred’s extensive experience and know-how into FDJ’s organisation, contributing to the development of a leading online gaming business.”

If the proposed acquisition meets full approval, FDJ will formally place its all-cash tender this coming February 19.

The deal is expected to take nine-months, pending regulatory approval, to seal.

This latest FDJ move follows their successful buy of Irish lottery operator PLI in November last year.

Added Pallez: “The proposed acquisition of Kindred fully aligns with our strategy.

“It will give [us] a diversified and balanced profile, based on several pillars: the monopoly activities, mainly the lottery, on our French historical market; Ireland, and online sports betting and gaming activities open to competition in Europe.

“FDJ and Kindred are highly complementary, and I will be delighted to welcome Kindred’s management team and many talented individuals into the combined Group following this transaction.”

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