The largest lottery and sports betting firm in France, La Française des Jeux (FDJ), is about to finalize a groundbreaking deal to acquire Kindred Group, a Stockholm-listed business, for an astounding $2.5 billion. With this move, FDJ is making a daring foray into the very competitive online gaming industry.
FDJ, a significant participant in lotteries and offline sports betting in France, is positioning itself to become one of the continent’s largest online gambling enterprises. With an eye on international expansion, FDJ previously paid €350 million ($381.6 million) for Premier Lotteries Ireland in Ireland in November 2023. The potential acquisition of Kindred would enable FDJ to meet its global objectives by giving it access to a variety of revenue streams and boosting its competitiveness against large companies in the market.
A Key Player in European Gambling
Kindred Group oversees nine well-known gaming companies, including as Highroller and Unibet, and serves customers in more than 100 countries. FDJ now has greater potential to increase its presence in significant European markets, such as the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia, as a result of its well-thought-out decision to exit North America.
Kindred’s 15% owner, Corvex Management, was a major motivator for the acquisition. In April 2022, the New York hedge fund became involved and pressured Kindred to consider strategic choices that would boost value for shareholders. Kindred had to reevaluate its offers in the Netherlands after experiencing a 30% decline in quarterly sales, indicating an even greater need for change.
With its involvement, Corvex is a part of a broader movement in the European gaming sector where activist investors are pushing for significant changes. Corvex underscores the significance of companies exploring all possible avenues to boost stock value, as seen by its December disclosure of a 4% stake in Entain. According to this trend, Ricky Sandler, the CEO of Eminence Capital, an activist investor, was nominated to the Entain board early this year.
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