32Red to join Kindred Group in deal valued at £176m
Online gaming company 32Red, the sponsor of the King George VI Chase at Kempton, is set to join the same stable as Unibet and Stan James as the wave of consolidation continues in the gambling industry.
Kindred Group are set to pay £176 million for 32Red, one of the first authorised betting partners in British racing, having agreed terms with the firm's board.
32Red chief executive Ed Ware, who holds a near 23 per cent stake in the company, said: "We have consistently and profitably grown 32Red's market share in the regulated markets of the UK, and more recently Italy.
"The management team at Kindred have a similar business philosophy to our own and we look forward to joining forces with Kindred and continuing our successful growth within the Kindred Group."
Kindred Group was founded as Unibet in 1997 and is listed in Stockholm. The company, whose head office is in Malta, has 13 brands including Unibet and online bookmaker Stan James, which was purchased in 2015.
Kindred's chief executive Henrik Tjärnström said: "The acquisition of 32Red is consistent with our multi-brand strategy and stated desire to grow our business in regulated and soon-to-be regulated markets.
"32Red is a high quality, customer-focused business with a similar culture to Kindred's and we are delighted to welcome 32Red and its team into the Kindred Group and look forward to further developing the brand going forward."
Shares in 32Red had risen 28.5p to 200.5p by mid afternoon.
Analyst Gavin Kelleher of Goodbody said the deal showed Kindred's "increased focus on trying to grow a UK presence".
He added: "It is also a sign that consolidation continues to be a theme in the sector."
The mergers between Paddy Power and Betfair, and Ladbrokes and Coral, in recent months have been among the biggest examples of consolidation in the industry as firms look to build scale in the face of fierce competition and regulatory burdens.