Following the Europe-wide tender procedure for the sale of the corresponding company shares, Gauselmann Spielbanken Beteiligungs GmbH has been awarded the contract for the acquisition of WestSpiel Group. On July 20, 2021, Gauselmann Spielbanken GmbH and NRW.BANK signed the company purchase agreement for the acquisition and sale of WestSpiel Group. The shares in WestSpiel Group have so far been held by NRW.BANK, the promotional bank of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
On December 18, 2020, NRW.BANK had initiated a bidding process as a non-discriminatory, transparent and competitive tender procedure by publication in the EU’s Official Journal. In the first phase of the tender procedure, potential interested buyers could apply to participate in the procedure on the basis of publicly accessible tender documents (call for competition). Based on the minimum requirements and suitability criteria published in advance, the three most qualified interested parties were invited to participate in the subsequent bidding and negotiation phase.
They were able to submit purchase price offers for the acquisition of the shares in WestSpiel Group by June 14, 2021. Gauselmann Spielbanken Beteiligungs GmbH won in this phase by submitting the highest purchase price offer and was awarded the contract on July 20, 2021 when the company signed the company purchase agreement.
The legal and economic completion of the transaction is still subject to merger law approvals as well as other conditions customary for transactions of this type.
NRW.BANK has obtained the consents required for the signing of the agreement. This included the consent of the Ministry of the Interior as the supervisory authority responsible for gambling to the change of shareholders in accordance with the Gaming Act. The company purchase agreement could be signed after the reliability of the purchaser under the applicable provisions of the Gaming Act had been comprehensively checked.
As a state-licensed casino operator with currently 900 employees and four casinos in Aachen, Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund-Hohensyburg and Duisburg, WestSpiel Group holds the casino monopoly in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. According to the Gaming Act, up to six casinos may be operated in North Rhine-Westphalia. The state will continue to receive the proceeds under the Gaming Act from the casino tax, the additional services and the profit tax.
The tender procedure was led by Warth & Klein Grant Thornton AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft as transaction advisor and the law firm Hogan Lovells International LLP as legal advisor.