Playtech Delays Decision on Aristocrat Takeover Bid

An employee of Playtech, a London based company shows the program displayed. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN

Leading casino software supplier Playtech has delayed a decision on the £2.7 billion ($3.65 billion) takeover bid it received from Australian company Aristocrat Leisure.

Aristocrat’s bid was initially recommended by Playtech’s board, as it was the only offer on the table for the London-listed firm. Gopher Investments, the second-largest shareholder in Playtech, decided not to make a bid, paving the way for Aristocrat to take over.

Last month, Aristocrat delivered a trading update in which it stated that the Playtech deal would be wrapped up in Q2 2022. However, Playtech has now delayed a decision in the hope that it can spark a bidding war with rival suitor JKO Play. It initially planned to give Aristocrat an answer by January 12, but it has now pushed that back to February 2 after stating that talks with JKO are ongoing.

A Revised Deadline

JKO is a company led by former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan and former Ladbrokes executive Keith O’Loughlin. “Playtech and JKO Play has requested the Panel set a revised deadline, aligned to this new date for the shareholder meetings, by which JKO must clarify its intentions in relation to Playtech,” said Playtech in a statement.

“Despite any adjournment of the Court Meeting and General Meeting, there remains no certainty that JKO’s approach will result in an offer for the Company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.

“The Playtech Directors continue to recommend unanimously that Playtech Shareholders vote in favor of the Aristocrat Offer at the Court Meeting and in favor of the Playtech Resolutions to be proposed at the General Meeting.”

A Major Prize

Playtech’s share price has increased 70% over the past year, and shareholders could receive an even larger windfall if a bidding war ensues.

The company is the world’s largest supplier of online casino games. Its creations include Age of the Gods, The Dark Knight, Gladiator, and Jackpot Giant. It was initially created in Estonia in 1999, but it is now based on the Isle of Man and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

It has lots of in-house studios, including Quickspin, Origins, Ash Gaming, Vikings, Psiclone Games, Eyecon, and Rarestone. Customers in the United States include BetMGM and FanDuel Casino, which feature some of Playtech’s most popular slots and table games.

Playtech also runs the world’s busiest online poker network, and its deal with DC Entertainment has led to popular slots like Superman and The Justice League.

Playtech Launches Live Casino Studios in Michigan and New Jersey

Just before Christmas, Playtech announced the launch of two live dealer casino facilities – one in Michigan and the other in New Jersey.

The initial launch features classic roulette, blackjack, and baccarat live dealer tables, along with a scalable All Bets blackjack variant, and Quantum Roulette Arcade, a double zero auto roulette table with a new 1000x multiplier. It is the first multiplier roulette game to be launched in both states.

“This is a landmark moment for Playtech and our development in the U.S. and it is something we are all very excited about,” said Playtech chief executive Edo Haitin. “We are humbly grateful for the warm welcome and support our teams have received from the Atlantic City and Southfield communities, and we are looking forward to becoming an integral part of these communities and contributing our part.

“The launch of the two facilities represents our core strategy of bringing our industry-leading studio standards to the U.S. whilst ensuring that Playtech Live’s most engaging and innovative products and technology are available to new markets and audiences.”