Playtech shares down 6% as Gopher decides not to bid
The bidding war for in-play online gaming tech and financial services provider Playtech plc (LON:PTEC) just cooled off a bit, with potential Playtech suitor Gopher Investments formally announcing that it now does not intend to make an offer for the company.
Gopher added that its decision re Playtech has no bearing on its agreement to acquire Playtech’s financial trading division, Finalto, for $250 million. Gopher said that it remains fully committed to the acquisition of Finalto. The process is ongoing and is expected to complete in H1 2022.
Playtech agreed to a friendly sale of the company to Australia based Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL) for 680p per share, or £2.1 billion (USD $2.8 billion), in mid October. However two potential suitors emerged for Playtech after that deal was announced – Hong Kong based Gopher, which as noted above had earlier agreed to buy Finalto from Playtech, and more recently a group led by former Formula 1 owner Eddie Jordan and ex Ladbrokes executive Keith O’Loughlin.
Any offer of less than ten percent more than the Aristocrat offer (or 748p per share) would trigger fairly heavy penalties for Playtech based on its signed agreement with Aristocrat, and so Playtech shares had traded up to as high as 775p this week, in anticipation of a (much) higher offer than the 680p Aristocrat offer. However with Gopher withdrawing, Playtech shares have retreated by about 6% to around 725p today – but still well above 680p.