Gopher to enter Playtech bidding war with over $ 4 billion bid


In addition to its Aristocrat offer, Playtech has now received another takeover offer from Gopher Investments, and reports suggest it is valued at around $ 4.04 billion. [Image:]

Gopher joins the race

Just last month, Australian slots giant Aristocrat Leisure made its intentions clear regarding Playtech, offering $ 3.7 billion to buy the UK-based online gaming and sportsbook provider. Now, investment firm Gopher Investments has joined that race, with a potential bid exceeding that made by Aristocrat of around $ 1.2 billion.

Playtech received an offer from Hong Kong-based Gopher on Sunday

According to Sky News, who first reported on the development, Gopher accepted advice from Rothschild bankers as he considered making an offer for the gaming giant. Reuters has since confirmed that Playtech received an offer from Hong Kong-based Gopher on Sunday. Although Playtech has not confirmed the amount of the bid, media outlets suggest Gopher is considering a £ 3bn ($ 4.04bn) bid.

An offer of $ 4.04 billion would outweigh that made by Aristocrat just a few weeks ago. However, Playtech has confirmed that talks with Gopher are at an early stage and still ongoing. The investment firm already owns a stake in Playtech, becoming one of the provider’s largest shareholders earlier this year.

let the games begin

According to a company statement issued Oct. 18, Aristocrat’s bid for Playtech values ​​the company at around 680p ($ 9.35) per share, a 58% premium over the company’s closing price on Friday. week preceding the offer. Shares of Playtech were up 57% on the day the offer was received, to 675p ($ 9.28).

In a Twitter post at the time, brokerage firm CommSec said that Playtech’s board of directors considered the “vesting terms to be fair and reasonable”:

As reported by Sky News, Playtech shareholders have launched a series of “irrevocable undertakings” to accept the offer. However, they could stop the process if a rival bidder offered a price that was at least 10% higher than the Aristocrat bid. This means that Gopher would have to bid at least 748 pence per share to trigger the clause.

What do they have to gain?

Playtech describes itself as the world’s largest provider of online gaming and sports betting software. The company, founded in 1999 and listed on the London Stock Exchange, has 6,400 employees in 24 different countries. It provides its technology to industry retail and online operators in markets around the world.

In 2018, the provider also completed a $ 977.4 million acquisition of Snaitech, one of Italy’s leading sports betting and gaming companies. The company manages approximately 1,600 retail properties across the country.

The provider has also created a financial trading division called Finalto, which operates on a B2B and B2C basis. He agreed to sell that arm to Gopher for $ 250 million in cash in September of this year. Playtech expects the deal to end in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory clearances and other factors.