Gopher Investments unveils $4.0 billion bid to acquire Playtech
Gopher Investments, which announced a $250 million bid to acquire Playtech’s Finalto unit in September, is making waves again with a $4.0 billion takeover bid for the world’s largest online gaming software supplier.
The news was first reported by Sky News, which also confirmed that Gopher is being advised by Rothschild.
The offer made by Gopher, which has about a 5.0% stake in Playtech, comes a few weeks after Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure unveiled a $2.89 billion bid for the gambling technology business.
In a filing with the London Stock Exchange, Playtech confirms that on October 21 it received a preliminary approach from Gopher Investments seeking access to due diligence information in order to explore a possible offer.
“Discussions with Gopher are at an early stage and ongoing. As such, there can be no certainty that Gopher’s approach will result in an offer for the Company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made,” Playtech added.
Shares in Playtech rose three percent, a relatively muted reaction compared to a surge of almost 60% when the Australian gambling group announced its lucrative offer in October.
At the time, Aristocrat said the deal would unlock opportunities in the fast-growing online real money gaming segment as they continue to open up, particularly in North America. The company’s CEO also referred to taking advantage of the de-regulating betting and gaming market in the United States.
Earlier in September, Playtech entered into a binding agreement to sell Finalto to its second-biggest shareholder, who had clashed with the company over Barinboim Group-led consortium’s $210 million offer. Gopher said they welcome “the unanimous support” of the Playtech Board and expects to complete the transaction in H1 2022.
Playtech agreed in May with a Barinboim Group-led consortium to acquire the London-listed firm’s financial trading arm. However, the proposed $210 million bid for Playtech’s financial division Finalto collapsed in August after a majority of the gambling software company’s shareholders rebuffed the deal.
Playtech shareholders argued that the offer undervalues the business and rejected the deal at a special meeting.
In an attempt to break the deadlock, the company has engaged in negotiations with its major shareholder Gopher Investments regarding a proposal already on the table to acquire the business.
The FTSE 250-listed group, however, raised questions with Gopher as part of its due diligence into the sweetened offer, adding that the bid is uncertain because it is non-binding and subject to a number of conditions.