Mondays are usually slow for iGaming news as people are just returning from their weekend breaks. Not this week. Today, everyone involved in online gaming will wake up to a major news event that has the potential to shake up the industry.
According to their official news release, Evolution Gaming Group AB confirmed that they entered a binding agreement to acquire the entire share capital of Big Time Gaming Pty for a total of €450 million in cash and Evolution shares. The transaction is expected to be completed during Q2/2021 pending regulatory approvals.
Evolution will pay the price in two parts, an upfront consideration of €220 million of which €80 million will be cash and €140 million in Evolution shares as well as an earn-out payment totalling up to €230 million based on Big Time Gaming’s EBITDA for the years 2022/23 and 2023/24. The latter part will be paid in cash and newly issued Evolution shares at a 70:30 ratio.
Big Time Gaming was founded more than a decade ago by industry veterans and rose to worldwide prominence with their trademarked Megaways game engine which was initially launched in January 2016 on Dragon Born. It turned into a global online gaming phenomenon when Bonanza hit casino lobbies in December 2016. Since then, they have released about 30 slot titles, either using the Megaways engine or completely new creations such as Donuts, Danger! High Voltage or Star Clusters Megaclusters. A progressive jackpot version of Bonanza is bound to go live within the next weeks.
Results for 2020 show that BTG had an exceptionally successful year. Their revenue for the full 12 months amounted to €33 million with an EBITDA of €29 million. Truly astounding numbers for a relatively small game developer with a portfolio of just 30 slots in casino lobbies.
Big Time Gaming CEO Nik Robinson commented on the surprise acquisition: “Evolution and Big Time Gaming are both driven by innovation, hence the perfect match. A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players.”
Evolution Gaming started out as a B2B live casino supplier, offering the full range of live dealer games including Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat to online gaming operators. Their rise to fame began a few years ago with the launch of Game Shows such as Dream Catcher, Lightning Roulette and more recently MONOPOLY Live and Crazy Time.
They further expanded their footprint with the acquisition of iGaming giant NetEnt and its subsidiary Red Tiger Gaming, which was completed at the end of November 2020. As a result, numerous iconic NetEnt slots will be transformed into Live Game Shows similar to Crazy Time with Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt Live slated to be the debut within the coming weeks.
In 2020, Evolution has proven once again that they are the leading online live casino games supplier worldwide with a revenue increase of 53% to €561.1 million, yielding an EBITDA margin of 59%.
Evolution chairman Jens von Bahr commented: “With the addition of Big Time Gaming to our portfolio of slot brands we strengthen our strategic position as the leading provider of digital casino games in the world. Big Time’s focus on innovation and creating unique playing experiences is a great fit with our culture and mindset at Evolution. We look forward to continuing our journey together.”