TTB to Make Bid for Playtech

TTB to make bid for Playtech – Gopher Investments parent company given clearance from Playtech to make a new bid. (Image from Tim Mossholder at unsplash.com )

The latest in a story that just keeps on running is that Gopher Investments has re-joined the race to acquire Playtech. Just two days ago, we reported that Playtech investors had vetoed a £2.7 billion bid from Aristocrat that led to the company considering breaking up the company.

However, TTB, the parent company of Gopher Investments, has sensed a fresh opportunity to acquire the leading iGaming firm.

Playtech revealed TTB had approached the company the day after the Aristocrat deal had collapsed due to 44% of investors voting against the takeover. TTB enquired about the possibility of releasing it from certain restrictions so that it can place a new bid. Gopher Investments previously placed a £3 billion bid for the company shortly after Aristocrat made an initial approach by bidding £2.7 billion. Pulling out two weeks later meant that per the deal, Gopher Investments could not make a new bid for the company within 6 months.

Playtech revealed it had accepted the request, so TTB is now free to make a new offer for the company. It did state, however, that this does not mean for certainty that a new bid is lodged. Playtech also revealed that if TTB/Gopher Investments make a new bid, it is likely to be a cash-only deal.

How the Playtech Saga Has Unfolded

In October last year, Playtech revealed it was open for acquisition and this led to the original £2.7 billion bid from Aristocrat. Gopher Investments, an investment company from Hong Kong, countered with a £3 billion offer. Playtech then set a shareholder vote on January 12, a date that left plenty of time for other investors to show an interest and start a bidding war.

JKO Play, a consortium led by Formula One mogul Eddie Jordan, declared an interest and it seemed that a bidding war was indeed about to start. However, Gopher Investments then withdrew its bid to focus on the acquisition of Playtech’s financial trading arm, Finalto, for $250 million. That deal is expected to go through in the second half of 2022.

That left Aristocrat in the driver’s seat for the January 12 vote. Except, a mysterious group of Asian investors began buying up Playtech shares at well over the share price. It was believed that the investors were planning to purchase enough shares to veto the offer from Aristocrat and perhaps make a bid of their own.
That led to JKO Play pulling out of the race just a few weeks ago as the group was concerned the investors, who now had 28% of Playtech’s shares, would block any bid. That was over the 25% needed to vote against and veto any bid. Indeed, when it was time for the shareholders to vote, 44% voted against the Aristocrat deal.

That left Playtech, a company that has continued to expand and push into new markets such as the US, considering the breakup of the company until this recent news of TTB reentering the race.

 The question is, what will happen next in this story? Will TTB make a bid? Would the Asian investors accept it? Will anybody else show an interest in the UK online casino firm?

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