LeoVegas is under investigation by the Swedish authorities for insider trading. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A surprise visit
Ekobrottsmyndigheten, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (SECA), made an “unannounced visit” to LeoVegas’ Stockholm offices early Tuesday.
fully cooperating with the probe
Specifically, authorities went to investigate claims of insider trading. LeoVegas, a Swedish online gaming operator, said that it is fully cooperating with the probe; it also said that any questions from reporters must be channeled through the authorities.
None of LeoVegas’ employees, board members, or executives stood accused of any legal wrongdoing.
Problems with the sale
LeoVegas confirmed reports that SECA paid a visit to the Stockholm offices in a statement Tuesday morning.
MGM’s bid was based on a 44% premium
The investigation comes after MGM Resorts made a bid to purchase the company for $607m last month. It is unclear if the hang-up will delay or cancel the sale, but it does bring it into question. MGM’s bid was based on a 44% premium of LeoVegas’ closing price of shares, which could be affected by the probe.
Swedish news website TUE suggested that MGM’s bid was leaked in an effort to drive up the price, although the firm’s board has since dismissed these claims. TUE also reported that LeoVegas chairman, Per Norman, opposed the rumors.
“Leo Vegas is one of the few semi-large companies with its own platform and a fantastic brand,” explained Norman. “So for a land-based operator, it will be a pretty natural candidate to look at.”
A clear impact already
The operator previously offered to assist MGM in an audit connected to the bid. This included a review of the company’s strategic and financial standing, future development, and potential risks.
However, the recent intervention from SECA caused LeoVegas’ trading price to drop .15% to SEK 60.1 ($6.13).
LeoVegas is headquartered in Stockholm and holds eight operating licenses in Scandinavia and surrounding Europe. It was founded in 2011 by CEO Gustaf Hagman and Chairman of the Board & Managing Director Robin Ramm-Ericson.