Date: 22.01.2024

by Antoni Majewski

FDJ’s Strategic Leap: Acquiring Kindred to Forge a European Online Betting Titan

In a bold move to expand its footprint in the European gaming sector, France’s FDJ has announced a lucrative tender offer to acquire Kindred, one of Europe’s top online betting and gaming companies. This strategic acquisition positions FDJ to become a dominant force in the international gaming world.

FDJ’s Ambitious Expansion

FDJ (Française des Jeux), a French gaming operator, is stepping up its game in the international arena. By proposing to acquire Kindred, the operator of the renowned Unibet brand, FDJ is not just expanding its market share but is strategically diversifying its portfolio in the lucrative world of online betting and gaming.

The offer, priced at SEK 130 per share, values Kindred at an impressive €2.6 billion. This price reflects a 24% premium over Kindred’s closing price on January 19, 2024, and is 35% higher than the average price of the last 30 trading days. Such a premium indicates FDJ’s commitment to this acquisition and the value they see in Kindred’s market position and technology.

Creating a European Gaming Champion

This acquisition is not just a financial transaction but a move to create a European gaming behemoth. With this, FDJ will become the second-largest operator in Europe’s gaming sector, promising stronger revenue and earnings growth. Both companies share a commitment to responsible gaming and a model that marries performance with responsibility.

Kindred brings to the table its extensive experience in online betting, including sports and horse-race betting, poker, and casinos. With a revenue of £893 million in 2023 and a presence in several key European markets, Kindred’s digital expertise and technology platforms will significantly boost FDJ’s online market presence.

Shareholder and Regulatory Dynamics

The offer is backed unanimously by Kindred’s Board of Directors. Key shareholders, holding 27.9% of Kindred’s capital, have already committed to the deal. However, the completion of this acquisition hinges on regulatory approvals and FDJ acquiring at least 90% of Kindred’s capital.

Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ, emphasized the alignment of this acquisition with FDJ’s strategy, highlighting the complementary nature of both companies. Nils Andén, CEO of Kindred, expressed his enthusiasm for the enhanced capabilities and strategic projects that this union will bring forth.

Analysis: A Win-Win for FDJ and the European Gaming Market

The proposed acquisition of Kindred by FDJ is a game-changer in the European online betting and gaming sector. It symbolizes FDJ’s transformation into a global gaming giant and aligns with the ongoing trend of consolidation in the gaming industry. The move is expected to bring substantial financial benefits to FDJ, including a significant dividend accretion. Moreover, it underscores a commitment to responsible gaming and regulated market operations, which is increasingly important in today’s gaming landscape.

This deal, if successful, will not only reshape FDJ’s market position but also alter the competitive dynamics in the European gaming sector. It’s a strategic play that speaks volumes about FDJ’s vision for the future and its readiness to adapt to the evolving gaming industry.