January 26, 2022 Technology, Online, Merger Aquisition

Playtech Board of Directors strikes back after rumors of stalled takeover bid

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The spectre of an asset auction has emerged in the event that takeover fails.

Amid rumors that Playtech could possibly be broken up – its gaming assets auctioned off – in the event that a takeover bid by Aristocrat Gaming is struck down by a group of shareholders, the company’s Board of Directors have issued a statement recommending that shareholders vote in favor of the takeover bid.  

They go on to note: “Whilst Playtech has made significant strategic and operational progress and is in a strong position for the future, Aristocrat’s proposal provides an attractive opportunity for shareholders to accelerate the delivery of Playtech’s longer-term value.” 

The tersely worded statement comes in response to rumors emerging yesterday that a group of Asian investors were going to vote against the £2.7bn ($3.6m) acquisition of Playtech by Aristocrat. This cohort of investors own 25% of Playtech shares.  

In the event that this happens, Sky News reported yesterday, Playtech’s directors and its investment banking advisors (Wells Fargo, Jefferies and Goodbody) are prepared to oversee the dissolution of the European gaming giant, which has an estimated market value of £1.9bn. 

This, reports claim, would only happen if the takeover bid by Aristocrat does not go through. 

Plans for the potential auction – which would include its b2b platform as well as the Italian b2c company Snaitech – are already in the works.  

This news comes less than a week after a potential rival bidder, JKO Play, left the fray of the takeover battle. Its exit left the path open for Aristocrat, with whom the price of sale had been decided upon (680p a share) and to which the Board had given its stamp of approval.  

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