Industry focus: 'Atmosphere of uncertainty' leading M&A trend

Industry focus: 'Atmosphere of uncertainty' leading M&A trend

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 Totally Gaming
Metric Gaming's Peter Bertilsson believes the spate of takeovers could be a positive for consumers

Metric Gaming president and chief executive Peter Bertilsson gives his expert view on the reasons for the merger and acquisition fever that has swept the gaming industry in recent months. The head of the software and services company behind SuperLive and Bettor Option assesses market conditions and tells TotallyGaming.com about the impact of the trend on customers and the industry as a whole...

TotallyGaming.com: What do you believe are the key reasons for the number of M&As in the gaming industry in recent times?

Peter Bertilsson: The gaming industry is maturing at a blinding pace, making it difficult for even some of the most well-established companies to stay ahead of the curve. This atmosphere of uncertainty tends to breed more aggressive risk-taking, which in turn yields a more volatile marketplace.

In this environment, thinning out competition, achieving cost-saving synergies and supplementing existing lines of business can become critical strategies in securing long-term growth and survival, which may help explain the recent M&A activity.   

TotallyGaming.com: You are a former executive at Bwin - how have you viewed the battle between GVC and 888 to buy Bwin.party in recent weeks?

Peter Bertilsson: Bwin is clearly playing their hand well in light of the bidding war. They still have one of the most formidable brands in gaming, so I am ultimately not surprised by the strong acquisition interest.

TotallyGaming.com: Do you believe the M&As will be a positive or negative for the sector in terms of the quality, diversity of offering and value for money for customers?

Peter Bertilsson: While any decrease in competition can theoretically harm a product’s quality, diversity and value, I suspect that won’t be the case in the gaming industry. These major conglomerates will still face stiff competition, and will now have more resources than ever to fight for market share - typically a great thing for consumers.

Moreover, all large companies experience administrative and bureaucratic hurdles that make quick adaptations virtually impossible, leaving them perpetually vulnerable to hungry young start-ups, which I expect will keep the entire industry on its toes.

TotallyGaming.com: Do you see Metric Gaming becoming involved in M&A deals itself in the coming months and years? 

Peter Bertilsson: That is certainly something any young company like ours considers, and we’ll always be open to deals we believe have the potential to add shareholder value. For now, however, our focus remains on optimising our products and services and growing the business organically. 

TotallyGaming.com: What effect have the M&As involving others had on Metric Gaming’s performance and strategy?

Peter Bertilsson: On the one hand it can be highly beneficial, as we in theory get access to the customer base of two companies for the sales and integration resources only associated with one. On the other hand, M&A activity imposes a tremendous administrative burden on the merging companies, which inevitably slows down integration for third-party vendors like ourselves.

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