Bally’s Reveals Offer for Gamesys, Extends Acquisition Binge

Posted on: March 24, 2021, 08:49h. 

Last updated on: March 24, 2021, 10:10h.

Shares of Bally’s Corp. (NYSE:BALY) are soaring Wednesday after the company said it reached an agreement in principle to acquire online gaming operator Gamesys (OTC:JKTPF).

Gamesys Bally's
Inside Gamesys UK headquarters. Bally’s is looking to buy the company. (Image: Zendesk)

News of the deal was revealed in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The news sent the US-listed shares of Gamesys higher by more than 14 percent in midday trading.

“Gamesys would benefit from Bally’s fast-growing, land-based and online platform in the United States, providing market access through Bally’s operations in key states, as the nascent iGaming and sports betting opportunity develops in the US,” according to the SEC filing.

“Bally’s would benefit from Gamesys’ proven technology platform, expertise, and highly respected and experienced management team across the online gaming field. The combined group would be well-positioned to capitalize on the full range of opportunities present both in the US and beyond,” the SEC filing continued.

Bally’s is offering 1,850 pence in cash for each Gamesys share, but the target’s investors can accept other options. The Rhode Island-based casino operator said Gamesys equity holders can also exchange each of their shares for 0.343 of a share of newly issued Bally’s stock. Last week, the company announced the sale of 6.99 million shares, raising $490.39 million in gross proceeds.

“Gamesys shareholders representing 24.5 percent of Gamesys’ outstanding stock have indicated their intention to commit to elect for the Share Alternative,” according to the regulatory document.

What Bally’s is Buying

Bally’s is one of the most active gaming companies in terms of consolidation. It is likely eyeing Gamesys as an avenue for pushing deeper into the fast-growing world of online casinos. Under the Jackpotjoy, Virgin Games, Botemania, Vera&John, Heart Bingo, Megaways, Rainbow Riches Casino, and Monopoly Casino brands, the UK-based company offers internet casino and online bingo games.

On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs forecast the US iGaming market will be worth $14 billion in 2033, delivering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 percent for over a decade. Jefferies analyst James Wheatcroft said in a note to clients today that there are synergies between Gamesys and other recent Bally’s acquisitions.

He calls the potential marriage an “interesting combination,” while noting the deal is likely to reach the finish line. Bally’s proposal isn’t binding and under UK law, the suitor has a specific time period in which it must formalize its plans for Gamesys.

“Pursuant to the UK Code, Bally’s has until April 21, 2021, subject to extension, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Gamesys in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the UK Code, or announce that it does not intend to make an offer,” according to the 8-K.

Bally’s Doing Bally’s Things

The offer for Gamesys emerges a day after Bally’s wrapped up its purchase of buying daily fantasy sports (DFS) company Monkey Knife Fight (MKF), and two days after it appeared the company will miss out on its quest to acquire the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Including MKF and free-to-play games provider Sportcaller, Bally’s already executed two purchases since the start of 2021 and those follow the November 2020 acquisition of Bet.Works for $125 million.

All of that is to say that with the gaming company financially sturdy and looking to bolster its iGaming and sports wagering footprints, more buys could be in the offing as 2021 moves along.