Bally’s and Gamesys shareholders approve merger

Bally’s Corporation and Gamesys Group shareholders have voted in favour of a proposed mega-merger that would create a leading online and land-based gambling entity in the US.

This comes after terms of the roughly $2bn merger were finalised by both companies in April.

Shareholders approve merger

In a statement, Gamesys announced that the court meeting to consider the merger and the Gamesys general meeting to consider the combination were held yesterday and subsequently approved by the majority shareholders for both businesses.

Of those who voted in the court meeting, 92.4% were in favour and 99.1% of the general meeting supported a special resolution relating to the merger.

Meanwhile, Bally’s shareholders also voted to approve the deal, allowing the merger agreement to proceed to the next stage.

The predicted timetable for the completion of the merger remains the same, with both organisations expecting it to close in Q4 2021. However, the combination still requires approval from the courts at a court hearing and must meet several other closing conditions.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, said: “We are very pleased to have received our shareholders’ support, enabling us to achieve this next milestone toward the transaction close. By combining with Gamesys, we will meaningfully accelerate our growth strategy to become a premier, global, omni-channel gaming company, which we believe will create significant long-term shareholder value. We look forward to closing the transaction later this year, and working with Lee and the rest of Gamesys’ seasoned management team.”

Lee Fenton, Gamesys’ Chief Executive Officer, added: “This combination represents a compelling opportunity to integrate Gamesys’ market-leading gaming technology with Bally’s growing US gaming platform to create a vertically integrated company that is poised to capitalize on the rapidly expanding US online sports betting and iGaming market.

“Given our comprehensive suite of collective assets and our track record of successfully developing online gaming operations in highly-competitive markets, we believe we will be able to offer customers a unique and differentiated approach to gaming.”

Terms of the deal

In April, the boards of both businesses agreed on the terms of a deal that would see Bally’s acquire Gamesys’ issued and outstanding share capital through its wholly-owned subsidiary Premier Entertainment.

At the time, Bally’s said it believes the deal will allow it to significantly increase its market share in the US betting and online gambling market.

In April, Soo Kim said: “We believe that this combination will mark a transformational step in our journey to become a leading integrated, omni-channel gaming company with a B2B2C business.”

Under the deal, Fenton will become group chief executive, while Gamesys chief operating officer Robeson Reeves and non-executive director Jim Ryan will join the Bally’s board.

Bally’s current CEO George Papanier will oversee the operator’s land-based operations and remain on the board.

Via Premier Entertainment, Bally’s will pay 1,850 pence per Gamesys share, representing a 14.4% increase on Gamesys’ closing share price of 1,642 pence per share on 23 March, the day before the deal was announced.

According to the initial terms of the deal, Gamesys shareholders will also have the option to swap each share for 0.343 Bally’s Corporation shares. The firm’s directors and shareholders have already said they will take this option for all of their shares, except for finance director Michael Mee, who will exchange his holding for a combination of cash and shares.