Kindred Group said its board has started a review of strategic alternatives that could include a merger or sale of the company, in whole or in part.
The Stockholm-listed company said it has hired advisors for its review, with the goal of “maximising the value of its online gambling and sports betting assets”.
There is no timetable for the review, the company said today (April 26). It has hired PJT Partners, Morgan Stanley and Canaccord Genuity to assist in the review.
“There can be no assurance regarding the results or outcome of Kindred’s review of strategic alternatives,” the company said.
The surprise announcement came as the company, best known for its Unibet brand, announced a 24 percent gain in first-quarter revenue to £306.4m and a quadrupling of post-tax profit to £25.6m.
So-called underlying EBITDA doubled to £49.4m in the quarter, the company said.
In the past year, Kindred shares have risen 27 percent to 109.23 Swedish kronor, as of April 25.
The recovery came as the company added more players and was able to resume business in the Netherlands, where it had been forced to shut until it obtained a licence following the launch of the country’s licensed online gambling market.
The operator’s number of active players grew by 18 percent to 1.6m in the quarter over the previous year and by 3 percent, excluding the Netherlands, Kindred said.
The Dutch market contributed £57.3m in revenue in the quarter.
B2B activities reported “exceptionally strong growth”, with Relax Gaming revenue gaining by 90 percent in the period, the company said.
In North America, the company improved from its previous results, with gross winnings revenue of £8m, and decreased losses, as it reported a negative £5.5m EBITDA.
On April 14, it got approval to operate in New Jersey, with a launch expected in mid-May.
The company faces “challenges” in Belgium, where the company said it added stricter anti-money laundering checks and improved responsible gambling procedures.
Earlier this week, Kindred said the portion of its gross winning revenue derived from harmful gambling fell to 3 percent, its lowest recorded level, in the first quarter. That compares to 3.3 percent in the same period a year ago.
Some 83 percent of players also showed an improvement in gambling behaviour after the company intervened, Kindred said.