May 11, 2021
Live Casino conglomerate Evolution is gearing up to acquire popular Megaways slot developer Big Time Gaming. The deal is valued at €450m/£389m/$534.5m, is payable in cash and company shares, and is scheduled to close before the end of the second quarter.
Evolution creates and licenses online casino games to operators around the world. The company agreed to pay €220m up-front and will subsequently clear the balance amount via earn-out payments from BGT’s earnings before depreciation, tax, and amortization (EBITDA) between 2022 and 2024. Big Time Gaming’s EBITDA for 2020 stands at €29m for revenue of €33m.
Evolution will pay a maximum of €80m in cash up-front while the rest is to be paid out in newly launched Evolution stocks. Evolution is likely to hand out 1.1m company shares. Similarly, the earn-out payment amounts to €230m and will be cleared in part between 2023 and 2024. The balance will be payable in 70% cash while the remaining will be paid out in Evolution shares.
The Malta-based iGaming operator has entrusted law firm Wiggin LLP to serve as its lead advisor for the transaction. Wiggin LLP will be assisted by Deloitte, Addisons, Gernandt & Danielsson. While BGT has appointed teacher Stern, Oakvale Capital LLP, and BDO for an advisory role.
Big Time Gaming is a leader in online slot development and has popular titles like Extra Chilli and Bonanza under their belt, apart from the fan-favourite Megaways mechanics which has been integrated into over 200 games over the years.
“With Big Time Gaming by our side, we plan to strengthen our gaming portfolio and position Evolution as a global leader in the iGaming market. BGT’s intentions of crafting unique player experiences sit well with our goals for the future and we look forward to creating some amazing content for the players in the near future”, revealed Jens von Bahr, Chairman, Evolution.
“Both Big Time Gaming and Evolution are driven by innovation and are hence a perfect match. We look forward to delivering quality results to our players”, explained Nik Robinson, CEO, BGT.
The deal closely follows Evolution’s takeover of renowned iGaming software developer NetEnt, which went through in November 2020 for an estimated value of SEK19.60bn/€1.91bn/£1.72bn/$2.30bn.
Evolution dropped a preliminary bid to acquire NetEnt back in June 2020 with the intention of becoming a global leader in the iGaming industry. The plan to take over Big Time Gaming further strengthens the resolve.
Financial Results for the previous year, which arrived back in February 2021, revealed a 53.4% YoY revenue increase to €561.1m. After all the expenses were taken into account, the operator walked away with a sizeable €283.6m in profits, up 90.1% since 2019.
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