Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Playtech, the gambling technology group, has postponed a decision on a £ 2.7 billion takeover bid from Aristocrat, fueling hopes of a bidding war as a rival freer, JKO Play, has been given more time to make its offer.

Playtech, which provides software for gambling companies to power their live casinos, said in a statement on Wednesday that “talks with JKO are progressing. JKO has asked for more time to develop the terms of its potential offering for the company. ”

The UK’s Takeover Panel has revised the deadline given to JKO for a firm intention to announce an offer for Playtech to 26 January 2022 from 5 January. Playtech has moved the date to approve Aristocrat Leisure’s offer to February 2nd.

The company agreed in October to a £ 2.7 billion takeover bid from Aristocrat, an Australian slot machine manufacturer, subject to conditions.

Playtech, founded in 1999 by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, was founded in November by JKO, a group run by former Formula One boss Eddie Jordan and a former Science Games manager. The consortium has been working with the company since its approach, which is reportedly worth more than £ 3 billion.

But Playtech directors still advocate that shareholders “vote in favor of the Aristocrat offer”, the company said.

Aristocrat said it was “pleased to note the recent recommendations to Playtech shareholders of authorized advisers to vote in favor of all decisions to implement the recommended acquisition”.

The regulatory approval process is “well on track” and it is “committed to completing the acquisition as quickly as possible”, he added.

The deal depends on the outcome of talks over the listing of Playtech’s joint venture with Caliente in the US by way of a Spac, according to those familiar with the matter.

Aristocrat is the only one of two bidders to have received regulatory approval to operate in the U.S., as businesses seek to take advantage of the legalization of sports betting and online gaming in more states, including Michigan.

Shares in Playtech weakened on Wednesday after the announcement and fell by almost 2 percent, from 732.5p to 720p.

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