Competition Grows for Playtech Acquisition
The battle to acquire Playtech has taken another unexpected turn after the company received a preliminary approach from JKO Play, a business controlled by F1 team owner Eddie Jordan and the industry veteran Keith O’Loughlin.
According to Playtech, it has provided due diligence information to JKO, which is currently holding talks with Centerbridge Partners about institutional debt and structured capital funding to finance a potential deal.
However, Playtech pointed out that discussions with JKO are at a very early stage, and there is no guarantee that JKO will make a firm offer for the business. It means that there is now a third potential buyer of Playtech. Aristocrat agreed to acquire the company in a deal worth £2.70 billion and remains the most likely.
However, Gopher Investments, a minority shareholder in Playtech, has made its own preliminary approach and reportedly offered £3 billion. Gopher has also been given due diligence information but added that there is currently no certainty a firm offer will be made.
Despite the multiple approaches, Playtech is working with Aristocrat to complete the acquisition deal reached in October. The regulatory approval process is currently underway, and they are aiming to complete the deal by Q2 2022.
Aristocrat has acknowledged the rival bid but stated that it believes its proposal is better for the business.
Aristocrat believes that the terms of the recommended acquisition and the compelling strategic rationale provides certainty for Playtech shareholders with no contingent value or other complicated structures for shareholders to realize value. We also believe that the combined group will provide greater opportunities to Playtech employees. Our long-term engagement with regulators across key gaming jurisdictions, together with our strong financial fundamentals, deep customer relationships, and established presence in global gaming markets, positions us to complete the transaction as planned in the second quarter of calendar year 2022.