Swedish gambling group, Cherry, is at the centre of a $1bn takeover bid from a consortium of investors looking to take the company private.
The target firm’s bid committee has already recommended that its shareholders accept the offer of SEK87 per share, which, it says, values the company at a 20 percent premium of SEK9.19bn – or $1.01bn USD.
The consortium – named the European Entertainment Intressenter BidCo (EE Intressenter) – is being led by UK private equity firm, Bridgepoint Europe, and comprises Prunus Avium, the Klein Group, Audere Est Facere, Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall and two other individual investors with ties to Cherry.
The consortium says it wants to take 100 percent of Cherry’s business, and would also delist from the Stockholm exchange to take the company private – to focus on “driving the performance of the individual business units rather than managing the combined entity as a public company.”
Speaking on behalf of the bidders, Bridgepoint partner Mika Herold said : “We have followed Cherry closely for a long time and have the highest regard for the success and impressive track record that Cherry and its divisional management teams have achieved through driving innovation in the iGaming sector.
“However, we also believe that many of the opportunities and challenges facing Cherry and its subsidiaries are easier to approach in a private setting and with a more favourable capital structure. The changing regulatory environment together with necessary measures to defend and increase Cherry’s market share over time, will require significant investment.”
Cherry, which owns brands ComeOn and CherryCasino, saw its share price rise 18 percent with the news.