Lottoland Holdings has launched a bid to take over Zeal Network’s German assets with a €76 million cash offer to conclude a dramatic few days.
At the beginning of last week, the Lottoland Chief Executive Nigel Birrell wrote an open letter to Zeal Network shareholders asking them to vote against Zeal Network’s proposed takeover of rival Lotto24 AG, which is due to be put to a vote at the Zeal AGM on January 18. Lotto24 was originally owned by Zeal under the name Tipp24 but was spun off and re-named in 2012.
Birrell and the Lottoland management said that they would make a counter-offer for what they described as ‘certain Zeal assets’, which they said would offer stakeholders in the company better value than they would get from the Lotto24 transaction.
But responding to Birrell’s criticism of the Lotto24 deal, the Chief Executive of Zeal, Dr Helmut Becker, said that Lottoland had attempted to deliberately sabotage the deal and had set out to spread uncertainty among Zeal shareholders.
Dr Becker conceded that Lottoland’s offer would be fully reviewed, but he also confirmed that there could not be a delay of the Zeal AGM. Under German rules, if the vote on the Lotto24 takeover was postponed, there would have to be a 12-month ‘cooling off’ period before it could be re-held.
Image sourced from 123RF.