Cherry Gets a $1 Billion Takeover Bid
European Entertainment Intressenter BidCo consortium, led by UK private equity company, Bridgepoint, has sent a takeover offer worth a little over $1 billion to Swedish gaming giant, Cherry.
The said consortium wishes to acquire 100% of company’s shares and delist it from Nasdaq Stockholm, where Cherry shares’ closing price on Monday were SEK 87 in cash per share – a price recommended to shareholders by company’s independent bid committee.
In case EE Intressenter reaches shareholding of 90%, it will commence the purchasing procedure of the remaining 10% of shares, which is obligatory according to Swedish Companies Act.
Who is Who?
EE Intressenter consortium consists of the following companies and individuals:
Bridgepoint Europe, Audere Est Facere, Prunius Avium, Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall, Berkay Reyhan and Murat Can Yilanlioglu who are both directors of Hindigo Marketing London-based marketing business company (the latter also serves as a director of Highlight Games).
Another pivotal person taking part in all this is Morten Klein, head of Klein Group – but also Cherry’s chairman and founder.
It was Klein’s involvement and close ties with the company that led to an independent bid committee handling the matters related to consortium’s offer. The committee consists of Gunnar Lind who is Cherry’s acting CEO and Johan Moazed and Jorgen Olsson, board members.
Cherry, owner of ComeOn and CherryCasino online brands, operates in seven regulated markets, with gaming licenses held in Schleswig-Holstein, Malta and the UK…
…The company also has a Polish betting license and has filed in an application for entering Sweden’s re-regulated market that kicks off on January 1st. Despite the takeover taking place, company’s officials are confident they will acquire the license – MRG got their own despite being in the midst of a William Hill merger.
“Much Needed Financial Resources”
The takeover bid already has a support of several important people close to the affair: Game Lounge’s co-founder and CEO, Jonas Cederholm, and his co-founding partner Fredrik Langeland, as well as Cherry’s founders Per Hamberd and Lars Kling.
The acceptance period will last a little over a month – it begins on Thursday, December 20th and ends on Wednesday, January 23rd.
Mika Herold of Bridgeport commented the proposed bid and the ongoing regulatory changes, saying the time is right for Cherry to get their “much needed financial resources.”
He explained that the entire consortium has been following Cherry very closely for a long time now. Company’s impressive track record and iGaming sector innovation that they’re driving are met with the highest regard by all in it.
Maximizing Value is the Goal
Herold commented: “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.”
He is certain that the financial offer is attractive enough to shareholders, which has already been confirmed by the reaction and support they got from some of the most important ones.
By accepting the takeover bid, consortium muses, the company will be “able to maximise value by focusing on driving the performance of the individual business units rather than managing the combined entity as a public company.”
“Consortium makes $1bn bid for Cherry”, igamingbusiness.com, December 18, 2018.