Majority of Lotto24 shareholders accept Zeal offer

15 April 2019

More than 91% of Lotto24 shareholders have endorsed a takeover offer by London-listed lottery brokerage Zeal Network within the regular acceptance period, it was revealed today (April 15).

Following the conclusion of the initial deadline on April 10, remaining shareholders have now been given an additional two-week acceptance period, which will run until April 29. An all-share offer of one Zeal share for 1.604 Lotto24 shares is on the table.

Plans for the acquisition, which are set to see Zeal retake control of the subsidiary that was spun off in 2012, were first announced in November 2018. Shareholders of Zeal voted in favour of necessary preconditions for the transaction in January before the offer was published at the end of the month.

In February, the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior in Germany granted Lotto24 a supplement to its existing brokerage permit, allowing for lottery tickets to be brokered via the Tipp24.de and Tipp24.com domains.

However, the acquisition has been criticised by Zeal shareholder Lottoland, which has claimed that the deal will only benefit a small number of shareholders, cannibalising value for most investors. The lottery betting initially attempted to have the pivotal Extraordinary General Meeting in January delayed, which would have forced Zeal to withdraw its offer, then lodged a €76m bid for Zeal’s Tipp24 business.

This offer was rejected by Zeal, which said the bid significantly undervalued its German business, and would strip the business of its most valuable asset.

Zeal reiterated today that believes that the combined entity will offer “increased efficiencies between both companies” and “significant cost synergies at Zeal due to the change of its core business model”.

Zeal chief executive Helmut Becker (pictured) said: “We are pleased that the vast majority of Lotto24 shareholders has accepted our offer and bought into our strategic vision.

“By reuniting with Lotto24 and transforming our core German business to digital lottery brokerage, we are creating a strong platform for Zeal's sustainable and accelerated growth.

“Zeal and Lotto24 have already made strong progress on preparing the integration and are ready to execute on the plan.”