Evolution set to acquire Big Time Gaming
It’s since a few months, that NetEnt fans got familiar with Big Time Gaming (BGT) as the creator and owner of the Megaways engine. Evolution shouldn’t need an introduction as this company took over NetEnt, and with that all NetEnt slots, in December 2020. The acquisition of Big Time Gaming seems to be their most recent move in becoming the leading provider of digital casino games in the world.
Who is Big Time Gaming?
Established by three iGaming professionals, all with an extensive track record of innovation in online gaming, Big Time Gaming is mainly known for its successful Megaways series including NetEnt’s Twin Spin Megaways™, Fruit Shop Megaways™, and Divine Fortune Megaways™.
The company is based in Sidney, Australia, from where they forced themselves to become, once again, a large player in the iGaming industry.
Big Time Gaming is a medium-sized company, but the impact the company had on the industry is immense. The influence of BTG got a huge boost with the introduction of the Megaways slot engine in 2016. Dragon Born was BGT’s first Megaways slot to find its way to the online casinos, but it was Bonzanza Megaways that put the Megaways slots series on the map.
“Innovation is what drives Evolution and Big Time Gaming both, hence the perfect match. A bright and entertaining future awaits for our players,” noted Nik Robinson, CEO of BTG.
The innovation of the Megaways slots comes from the number of ways to win that changes with each spin. A Megaways slot is dynamic with each spin having a different outcome.
In just a few years, the Megaways series grew into the most successful slots series. It was thanks to Big Time Gaming sharing its successful slots engine with other developers, that the series now consists of over 100 games.
Who is Evolution?
Well first, Evolution is the owner of NetEnt. It was at the end of 2020 that the news came out that Evolution acquired NetEnt for a humble €1.8 billion. The immediately closed the NetEnt Live studio while using the games to become the leading provider of digital casino games.
The foundation of Evolution happened in 2006 to revolutionize the European live dealer platform and launched their first mobile Live Dealer games in 2012. One year later they open their 100th Live Table at their Riga studios. Evolution became the largest single-site casino operation in Europe.
But it wasn’t enough for the iGaming supplier, and so they opened a Live Dealer studios in Spain, Malta and Belgium.
In 2015, Evolution listed on Nasdaq First North Premier, Stockholm. The company exchanged it for the Nasdaq Nordic in June 2017. In 2018, the company enters Canada and USA with opening their studios there in 2020.
That’s a summary of Evolution’s milestones in general, but the first company it took over was Ezugi in 2018. Ezugi wasn’t the first competitor bought by Evolution with NetEnt being the next in 2020.
However, Evolution acquired NetEnt for two reasons. To eliminate one of their largest competitors, as well as acquiring a video slot portfolio to become an all-around supplier of online casino games.
Apparently, this last deal tasted like more and today the news broke out that another supplier ends up under the wing of Evolution. This time, no looming competition. This time it was solely to acquire another portfolio of successful games with the Megaways series as the best-known slots from the developer.
To consider Big Time Gaming’s portfolio as their own, Evolution enters an agreement to purchase the company for a total consideration of up to €450m, payable in cash and shares.
The total up-front consideration payable by Evolution in the transaction is €220m. In addition, Evolution will pay earn-out payments, based on BTG’s EBITDA for the years 2022-202424. The earn-out payments will amount to a maximum of €230m, payable in 2023 and 2024.
The earn-out consideration will be payable as 70 per cent in cash and 30 per cent in newly issued Evolution shares. Expected is that the completion of the transaction, which is conditional upon receipt of regulatory approvals, occurs during the second quarter of 2021.
“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 unique online casino experiences, is a great fit with our culture and mind-set at Evolution. We look forward to continue our journey together,” stated Jens von Bahr, chairman of Evolution.