The future of the acquisitions market between Europe and Asian iGaming companies shows a two-face dynamic, with legal and cultural hurdles presenting a challenge but clear evidence of mutual interest, according to the CEO of iGaming-focused investment firm GlodBlue, Rune Löderup.
“European operators see more difficult to grow in Europe,” Löderup said at iGaming Asia Congress on Tuesday, adding that the highly competitive European market has led many to search for acquisitions in Asia.
However, the huge gap between the legal frameworks of European countries and those in the different Asian countries often discourages operators, especially for listed companies who are conditioned to operate under higher levels of transparency not typically associated with Asia.
An exception to that rule is Japan, which Löderup said is considered the most attractive option for acquisitions from European companies. The similarities in Japan’s legal framework and the proximity of business practices, together with a huge potential in the iGaming market, make Japan the most appealing country in the region for European enterprises exploring acquisition possibilities in the sector.
Löderup said that European companies immersed in acquisitions in Asia must pay especial attention to the cultural gap between parties and how to undertake the process of structural integration harmoniously. He remarked that a careless integration could turn into a traumatic process with risks impacting staff and operations.
On the other hand, the trend of regional companies acquiring European ones has been more fruitful, as Asian companies – especially those from China – find that European firms match common strategy need to “derisk and diversify” their core activities.