Playtech Delays Takeover Meeting Over Potential Counter-Offer

January 5, 2022
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Playtech has postponed a special meeting to approve an offer from Aristocrat Leisure to give another potential acquirer, JKO Play, time to develop a potential bid.

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Playtech has postponed a special meeting to approve an offer from Aristocrat Leisure to give another potential acquirer, JKO Play, time to develop a potential bid.

The meeting originally scheduled for January 12 in London will be moved to February 2, Playtech said.

Talks with JKO are progressing and the London-listed Playtech said its board considered it to be in shareholders’ interest to give that company more time to develop an offer.

On October 17, Playtech said it had agreed to accept an offer of 680 pence per share, or about £2.7bn, from Aristocrat, an Australian gambling machine manufacturer.

In November, JKO made a preliminary approach and Playtech granted it access to due diligence information.

In mid-December, Sky News said JKO and financial partner Centerbridge were close to making a cash-and-share offer for Playtech at about 750 pence per share.

Sky also said that Tekkorp Digital, a US SPAC, is in talks to merge with Caliente Interactive, a Mexican gambling company in which Playtech has an option.

Tekkorp is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which claims sports, entertainment and gaming among its targets.

Such a step could reduce the net cost of Playtech to an acquirer, according to a Peel Hunt report.

Despite the postponement of the 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”, Isle of Man-based Playtech said.

The company said its board is still unanimously recommending the Aristocrat offer.

The UK’s Takeover Panel had previously given JKO until today (January 5) to make an offer or walk away from a proposed deal to buy the gambling software and services company.

JKO is headed by former Formula 1 Team owner Eddie Jordan and former SG Digital executive Keith O’Loughlin.

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