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Sweden’s financial regulator has given FDJ the green light to proceed with its acquisition of Kindred Group.

The Swedish Financial Market Supervisory Authority (SFSA) has approved FDJ’s offer document for the Stockholm-listed operator.

As such, the public offer will open tomorrow (20 Feb) and run for 39 weeks. Kindred needs to approve changes to its statutes to approve the compulsory purchases of its share capital.

The Unibet operator has therefore called an Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday 15 March to amend its articles to allow this to take place.

This is Kindred’s second attempt at approving the required changes in an EGM after shareholders representing just 42.16% of share capital voted in favour on 16 February, below the required 75% threshold.

The deal itself remains subject to Kindred achieving other required regulatory approvals. Overall, FDJ must acquire 90% of Kindred’s total capital for it to go through.

The French lottery giant is offering SEK 130 (€11.57) per share as part of the deal, which would value the company at around €2.6bn.

Kindred’s board has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer.

Activist shareholders push for sale

So far, several Kindred shareholders have already approved the agreement, representing 27.9% of the company’s total capital.

These include activist investors Corvex Management and Eminence Capital, as well as Premier Investissement SAS, Veralda Investment and Nordea.

Corvex, which is Kindred’s largest shareholder, has played an integral role in pushing for Kindred to pursue a sale.

After a successful campaign the fund received a seat on the board for one of its partners James H. Gemmel.

This came after arguing the business should look into a full sale of the business in May 2022.

“Given recent developments, we believe the Kindred board should immediately retain a leading, global financial adviser to evaluate strategic alternatives, including the potential value that could be achieved through a sale or business combination,” said Corvex in a statement at the time.

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