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NetEnt employees describe Evolution representatives began drinking champagne and celebrating

NetEnt employees have described how they were escorted by security to pack up their belongings as representatives from the company’s new owner drank champagne and ate pizza.

Around 300 staff were told to pack up and leave the office last Tuesday after Evolution Gaming acquired NetEnt and closed its Qormi studio in a move staff say came as a “great shock”.

Speaking under anonymity, NetEnt employees described how a normal day in the office took a completely unexpected turn.

“Up until Monday, the company was still investing in the studio and its staff,” one employee said. “There were trainees who had just finished their two weeks of training when it was announced that we will not be working anymore.”

While employees were escorted by security to pack their belongings, Evolution representatives began drinking champagne and celebrating. “As Evolution began celebrating in our faces and eating pizza, I had to go home and face my children, call the bank and plan what I was to do next.”

Malta union threatens industrial action following NetEnt layoffs.

The union said it had two major complaints with NetEnt and Evolution. First, that the suppliers did not acknowledge it as an official employee representative. This was in violation of Malta’s Collective Redundancies (Protection of Employment) Regulations, it claimed, which state “the employer proposing to declare the collective redundancy has the duty to notify in writing the employees’ representatives”.

Second, the union said NetEnt and Evolution did not provide detail of the redundancies in writing. Under the regulations, employers are required to give representatives information about the reason for redundancies, the number planned, the date they will occur the criteria for selection and details of redundancy pay.

The Regulations note that employers in violation are liable to a fine of not less than €1,164.69 for every employee that is declared redundant.

NetEnt has announced that it will delist its B-shares from the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange on 16 December, following its acquisition by live dealer specialist Evolution.

In connection with its offer, which allowed NetEnt stockholders to sell their holdings for 0.1306 Evolution shares, it will now issue 933,504 new shares.

Evolution has also initiated a compulsory buy-out procedure to acquire all outstanding shares.

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