Lottoland objects to Zeal’s Lotto24 deal

News on 7 Jan 2019

Nigel Birrell, chief executive officer of Lottoland Holdings Limited – a shareholder of Zeal Network,  has expressed his strong opposition at the prospect of Zeal Network’s takeover of German lottery firm Lotto24 AG (see previous reports).

In a letter addressed to Zeal Network’s CEO Dr Helmut Becker and CFO Jonas Matsson, Birrell states “the Transaction makes no strategic or economic sense and will result in a massive loss of billings and a substantially lower margin”.

Birrell poses nine questions, the answers to which he proposes be made available to shareholders and other interested parties in a public forum.

Among those he questions the connection between Zeal shareholders Günter Group, Oliver Jaster and The Working Capital Group asking “Are they acting in concert?” and is “the Working Capital Group even acting for Oliver Jaster?”.

Birrell believes the takeover will result in “value destruction” and has called for the delay of Zeal’s annual general meeting on January 18 where the deal is scheduled to be voted on.

An alternative offer for “certain assets” of Zeal Network will be put on the table by January 31, 2019 by Lottoland, Birrell concludes in the letter, one that he believes will provide a “better outcome for all shareholders”.

The full text of the letter can be read here.

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