Evolution IPO will boost company’s 'clear strategy'

Evolution IPO will boost company’s 'clear strategy'

Thursday, March 12, 2015 Totally Gaming

Adrian Westman, investor relations manager at Evolution Gaming, has told TotallyGaming.com that he believes the live casino provider's impending initial public offering (IPO) is the best way for the firm to stay ahead of its competition.

The company, which has offices in the UK, Malta and Latvia, is to join the Nasdaq First North Premier stock exchange, possibly as early next week, after announcing record operating profit of €13.1m ($13.9m), up 27 per cent on the previous year.

The IPO, which comes after signing deals in the last year with PokerStars, win2day, Danske Licens Spil, Full Tilt and Casinó Campione d’Italia, is set to comprise 13,824,267 existing shares, which represents 38.4 per cent of the company’s total outstanding shares.

“We believe that now is the right time for an IPO, as in recent years we have seen a significant growth in both revenue and number of operators opting to work with Evolution," Westman told TotallyGaming.com.

“It is anticipated that a listing will further strengthen our brand and position as Europe’s leading live casino provider and be advantageous in securing business with additional state-owned monopolies and land-casino casino groups.”

He added: “The IPO is a very exciting step for Evolution and will make us even more dedicated to deliver a world class live casino experience. We have an objective to grow faster than the total European live casino market going forward and at the same time maintain a sustainable EBITDA margin of at least 35 per cent.

“We have a clear strategy for growth, and see many opportunities to strengthen Evolution’s position in the market.”

The European live casino market has grown significantly and is, according to statistics from H2GC, the fastest growing sub-segment in the online casino segment.

While it is believed the entry on the Nasdaq First North Premier will target the Swedish general public, there has already been interest from a number of important investors from the country. Institutional investor Swedbank Robur Funds has committed to subscribing to 9.5 per cent of the shares, while individuals Staffan Persson, Peter Lindell, Erik Selin and Niclas Eriksson have committed to approximately 8 per cent of the firm’s total number of shares.

Backing from such senior figures shows that the company is a good bet in a thriving sector, according to Westman.

"The cornerstone investors have committed to subscribe for shares corresponding to approximately 17 per cent of the total number of shares outstanding," Westman said. "They share our view of the potential of Evolution and the live casino market.

“Swedbank Robur is one of Scandinavia’s largest mutual fund managers with a long-term investment horizon. The private investors have in-depth knowledge and experience from successful investments in other gambling companies. We are very happy that such professional investors choose to be part of Evolution in our continued development.”

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