Nylén increases shareholding in Kambi as business becomes hot property

Kambi Group CEO Kristian Nylén has increased his personal shareholding in the company by 22,500 shares, as the firm seeks to secure greater control of its future strategic direction. 

Nylén used the current exercise window to gain all of his 22,500 share options based on the 2018 buyback programming, thereby boosting his shareholding in Kambi from 720,000 to 742,500.

The purchase enables the CEO to seize greater strategic control of Kambi, following the satisfaction of required criteria to repay Kindred’s €7.5m convertible bond in the sportsbook supplier. 

Initially operating as Kindred’s B2B sports betting arm, Kambi was spun-off as an independent venture in 2014. The duo entered into a long-term supplier agreement in the process, a deal expanded at the same time as the required bond criteria was met – although Kindred subsequently maintained influence over its former subsidiary via the aforementioned €7.5m convertible bond.

Now that Kambi has secured more influence over its operations and the future of its business, a potential takeover could be in the mix, particularly in North America where Kambi has outlined substantial interest in recent years. 

The firm is currently a key partner of Rush Street Interactive (RSI) in the US, first entering into an agreement in 2018, with Nylén describing the launch of the New York betting market earlier this year – where Kambi is active via its RSI collaboration – as a ‘significant milestone’ for his company. 

Additional partners in the US have included Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook – although this company intends to move its wagering unit off Kambi’s technology and onto its own proprietary division, whilst DraftKings also decided to pursue this course – as well as BetAmerica, Parx and SugarHouse.

RSI could be a prospective buyer of Kindred, with an in-house sportsbook platform a key advantage in the competitive US market as more states continue to expand, and as many operators begin to look to the West – such as California – with many of the more prominent East Coast and Midwest States now open to legal online sports wagering. 

As stands, 30,982,694 shares are available in Kambi at a price of between SEK 209.4 to 229.8, suggesting a total value in the region of US$700 million. Despite losing out on some US supply agreements, stateside trading drove full-year revenue of €162 million, a 38% increase on 2020 figures of €118 million. 

“Looking back at Q4, growth from the Americas continued to be a key driver of our performance,” Nylén said at the time.

“The Americas region was responsible for 58% of operator GGR and is set to increase further with additional markets to regulate and go live this year across Canada, the US, and South America.”

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