Playtech postpones Aristocrat takeover

Playtech postpones Aristocrat takeover

UK-based platform provider Playtech plc has postponed a shareholder vote on a US$2.9 billion takeover bid by Australian slot machine giant Aristocrat as it waits on confirmation of a rival bid.

However, it also brought a handful of other suitors out of the woodwork, most notably JKO Play Ltd – a consortium led by former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan and former Scientific Games executive Keith O’Loughlin. JKO said in November that its bid was dependent upon acquiring funding from a private equity fund in New York.

Aristocrat announced its bid for Playtech in October, with the company’s cash price offer of 680 pence per share representing a 58% premium over the Playtech price at the time of 429 pence per share.

While full details of that bid have not yet been forthcoming, Playtech revealed on Wednesday that “discussions with JKO are progressing” and that “JKO has asked that it be provided with more time to develop the terms of its potential offer for the company.”

A shareholder meeting to vote on Aristocrat’s bid has subsequently been postponed from 12 January to 2 February 2022, with the UK Takeover Panel giving JKO until 26 January 2022 to clarify its position.

Aristocrat said in a filing that its bid “remains the only firm offer that has been made for Playtech.

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