Regulators give green light to Playtech’s Finalto sale to Gopher
Playtech, the London-listed gaming software developer, welcomed the conclusion of a thorough process as it received all required regulatory approvals to sell Finalto to Gopher Investments for $250 million.
Welcoming the announcement, the gaming technology developer said the acquisition of its financial trading division is on track for completion on June 30, 2022.
“Consistent with the sale and purchase agreement with Gopher Investments, the company now expects completion to occur on June 30, 2022, the last day of the month in which regulatory approvals were received. The completion of the transaction is an important step in Playtech’s stated strategy to streamline the group and focus on its technology-driven offering as a pureplay business in the B2B and B2C gambling markets at strong growth,” the latest announcement reads.
On August 18, Playtech’s general meeting rejected a $210 million proposal to sell Finalto to a consortium led by Israeli group Barinboim. Nearly 70% of the votes cast were against the deal as shareholders argued that the offer undervalues the company.
This forced Playtech’s board to backtrack and engage with Gopher Investments, which owns a 5% stake in the company founded by Teddy Sagi, after rejecting its initial offer. A month later, Playtech agreed to sell its Finalto brand to Gopher Investments, which confirmed its $250 million offer to acquire the provider’s financial trading division.
After a months-long battle, Playtech’s board said it unanimously recommended in favor of the acquisition. The FTSE 250-listed group has not changed its recommendation, especially since it has not received interest in Finalto from other potential buyers.
During the year, Playtech refocused the business, with the sale of Casual and Social Gaming in January and the divestiture of Finalto expected to close later this month. The company recorded revenue of €1.21 billion for the twelve months to December 2021, up 12% from the €1.07 billion accumulated in the same period in 2020.
The strong performance was driven by B2B online growth, particularly in Latin America and at Snaitech. Underscoring its success, Playtech said revenue growth more than offset the hurdles experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the B2B gambling segment grew by 11% to 554.3 million euros against 494.8 million euros a year earlier.
The gaming technology company has also laid the foundation for its US business to become one of its key growth drivers by doubling its revenue in the region. Playtech announced new deals that saw the brand expand its US presence to include live casino studios in New Jersey and Michigan.