Mergers and acquisitions have come thick and fast in the Nordic region in recent weeks. First Unibet bought Bet24, the online gaming company of Sweden’s Modern Times Group, for €13.5m. Then Betsson marched into the fray with its €65m acquisition of Nordic Gaming Group (NGG) and its NordicBet, Tobet and Triobet brands.
Betsson CEO Magnus Silfverberg believes it important to note Betsson is the region’s largest operator although he can also laugh at himself for doing so. (And both companies recorded revenues of around €190m at the end of 2011.) Unibet CEO Henrik Tjärnström, for his part, is keen to point out that Betsson had a couple of bad quarters and has bought growth twice (with Betsafe last year and now NGG) to address that.
If the two companies share a nationality and a penchant for acquisitions there is a lot more that divides them. Predictably both attribute the consolidation of the Nordic market to the seemingly unstoppable march of regulation - both now in Denmark but also in anticipation of change in Sweden. The drive towards economies of scale is an important factor in the consolidation.