Bidder drops out of three-way takeover battle for gambling technology firm Playtech
A bidder has dropped out of the three-way takeover battle for gambling technology firm Playtech.
Gopher Investments is the second-biggest shareholder in Playtech and was pondering a bid thought to be worth £3billion.
But it yesterday said it will not make an offer.
Roll of the dice: Gopher Investments is the second-biggest shareholder in Playtech and was pondering a bid thought to be worth £3billion
Instead, it will fulfill a commitment to buy Playtech’s financial trading arm Finalto for £185m.
The decision not to pursue a full takeover leaves Australian gambling firm Aristocrat Leisure and rival bidder JKO Play Holdings in the race for Playtech, which makes software for online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting and other gambling sites. Gopher’s initial approach came a month after Playtech accepted an offer from Aristocrat which valued the business at around £2.7billion.
JKO, a consortium led by former Formula One motor racing boss Eddie Jordan, entered the fray this week.
Jordan’s consortium would have to make an offer of at least 748p per share – 10 per cent higher than Aristocrat’s – to win the recommendation of the board. Playtech said this week talks with JKO were at an early stage and may not result in an offer.
Its share price has rocketed since announcing the potential tie-up with Aristocrat. It was trading at 429.2p per share and shot up 58 per cent when the deal was announced. But investors have indicated they expect a higher bid to come as last night’s closing price of 740p was significantly higher than Aristocrat’s offer.
Aristocrat said this week that it and Playtech ‘are continuing to work’ on the acquisition, adding that it wants to move ‘quickly’ and has raised around £700m for the deal.