Kindred Saga Continues as Talks of Sale Heat Up

Written By J.R. Duren on May 25, 2023
Kindred Sale Talks Continue

Few companies have had as shocking a year in U.S. gambling as Kindred, an online gaming firm based in Europe.

In April, the company announced it gained a license to operate in the lucrative New Jersey iGaming market. Shortly after that, Kindred said it was exploring strategic options for the company, which included a sale. Then, earlier this month, a slew of executives left the company, including former CEO Henrik Tjärnström.

And now, according to a report from Bloomberg, sources with knowledge of the company’s inner workings said Kindred is speeding up its plans to sell.

How Kindred started vs. how it’s going

Kindred is virtually a household name in the European online casino world. And, like other overseas companies with gambling operations, it saw the U.S. gambling market as a huge opportunity. Going the way of other firms like Aristocrat, Kindred found a way to bring its product to the American market.

Last month, nothing seemed amiss as Tjärnström lauded the company’s win in New Jersey.

“I am very pleased that we are now able to launch o
ur own Kindred platform in New Jersey, and I am immensely proud of everybody at Kindred who has made this possible,” he said. “Introducing the Kindred platform to our customers in New Jersey will provide the entertainment and experience enjoyed by our customers in Europe.”

A news release about the New Jersey licensure also noted that Kindred had plans to launch in Pennsylvania in mid-May.

But once the Pennsylvania launch deadline came around, Kindred seemed like a different company. Around four weeks after the N.J. online casino announcement, Tjärnström and CFO Johan Wilsby resigned.

Now, what was just a whisper of a sale has surged into a siren as Kindred has asked suitors to submit offers for the company by the end of this month, according to Bloomberg.

Why is Kindred trying to sell?

Normally, trying to sell your company shortly after an exodus of your top leadership would be tough. Questions like “Why is everyone jumping ship?” would certainly arise among companies or groups looking to acquire Kindred.

The flip side of that, however, is that Kindred wanted to sell all along, and it figured gaining entry into the US market would be an attractive development for interested purchasers. Additionally, Kindred’s prominent presence in the European market presents a great opportunity for companies looking to expand into Europe. And now that two of the firm’s top leaders have left, whoever buys the company has a relatively blank slate of leadership it can fill in as it pleases.

Sources told Bloomberg that MGM Resorts International is a possible buyer and that Kindred has approached  other companies, including Entain and Flutter, too.

Goodbody Analyst David Brohan told Bloomberg that Kindred presents a turnkey opportunity for buyers.

“Given the recent management departures, we would think that the process is moving quite quickly,” Brohan said. “Operators such as Fanatics/MGM could look to acquire the business as a way to bolster international ambitions.”

Photo by Playin USA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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