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Bally’s shareholders to vote on Gamesys deal at June 30 meeting


Bally’s shareholders are set to vote on a deal to acquire online operator Gamesys at a special shareholders meeting scheduled for June 30.

The boards of Gamesys and Bally’s announced that they had come to an agreement on a £2bn ($2.74bn/€2.31bn) deal in March of this year.

Under the deal, Lee Fenton, currently chief executive of Gamesys, would become chief executive of the combined group, while Bally’s chief executive George Papanier would remain in charge of the land-based business.

Bally’s has offered Gamesys shareholders either a cash option or a share option to acquire the business. Gamesys shareholders may either receive £18.50 or 0.343 Bally’s shares per share in the Jackpotjoy operator.

Gamesys’ board of directors have already opted to take up the share option for all of their stakes, with the exception of finance director Michael Mee, who will exchange his holding for a combination of cash and shares. 

However, the issuance of new shares required to fulfil the non-cash option must be approved by Bally’s shareholders. There are currently 42,452,582 shares of Bally’s common stock outstanding and entitled to vote.

“Bally’s believes that the online gambling and sports betting sector in the US continues to exhibit many characteristics that are structurally attractive with a steep anticipated growth trajectory as favorable regulatory progress throughout the US leads to the opening of new sports betting and igaming markets,” its board said.

“Bally’s believes that having a combination of both proven, developed technology and land-based platforms across key U.S. states, with global brands, existing customer bases and complementary product offerings will be key to taking advantage of these growth opportunities.”

Documents distributed to Bally’s shareholders ahead of the deal also detail the plans to finance the deal. Real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) will purchase shares or warrants in Bally’s stock, up to $500m, at a price that is yet to be determined.

In addition, a series of banks including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs have agreed to provide bridge term loan facilities up to £1.44bn, plus an additional €336.0m.

As part of the deal, a new Bally’s subsidiary named Bidco will be created, which will acquire Gamesys.

The merger is set to close in Q4 of this year, subject to regulatory approval.