UK’s Playtech to Receive £3bn Takeover Bid from Gopher

The Hong Kong-based investment vehicle Gopher Investments has reportedly offered a takeover bid worth $3bn to online gaming company Playtech.

The counterbid is coming weeks after Australian gambling company Aristocrat Leisure offered 2.1 billion pounds ($2.83 billion) to buy the gaming company.

Gopher Investments is being advised by bankers at Rothschild to make the offer that would be better than Aristocrat Leisure's bid.

Although the decisions aren't yet final and not guaranteed to lead to a formal offer, sources pointed out that Gopher may issue a statement today detailing its interest in bidding for the whole Playtech company.

Gopher Investments is currently the second-biggest shareholder of Playtech after building a stake in the British company earlier this year.

With Gopher in the race, this could lead to a bidding war for Playtech, which stocks benefited highly from its announcement of considering a 680p-a-share offer from Aristocrat.

Although a series of Playtech shareholders had signed undertakings to accept Aristocrat's bid, they would be inconsequential if another rival offered a price that is 10% higher than the Australian company's offer.

If Gopher's bid gets to the formal stage, the company would need to offer at least a 748p-a-share to trump Aristocrat's offer and secure a board recommendation.

In August this year, the company engaged in a similar bid race with rival Barinboim Group to acquire Playtech's financial trading arm, Finalto. The Hong- Kong-based company offered $250 million for the yet-to-be-completed deal.

The takeover of Playtech would be one in a list of major corporate deals currently rocking the United Kingdom iGaming market.