Playtech’s former and current heads back TTB takeover bid

abdelaziz Fathi

Playtech’s former and current CEOs, Tom Halland  Mor Weizer, are teaming up with TTB Partners to explore their participation in a new takeover bid by the Asian-based suitor.

TTB Partners approached the British gambling software maker after the Australian slot machine maker Aristocrat’s $2.8 billion offer to acquire Playtech’s business was voted down by shareholders. However, the group was under certain restrictions that prevent it from making a bid for six months after it advised Gopher Investments.

Earlier in November, Gopher shelved its $4.0 billion buyout of Playtech. The group’s second-largest shareholder, however, went ahead with its $250 million bid to acquire Finalto unit even after its interest in a bigger deal cooled.

Under UK takeover rules, Gopher Investments, a consortium of Asian and American investors, and its advisors cannot make another bid for the FTSE 250-listed gambling software business for six months unless there is a competing offer. The new potential buyer asked to be released from these restrictions that prevented it from making another offer until 20 May, which Playtech confirmed it granted.

Now, both current and former chief executives have approached TTB and signalled their intention to participate in a potential offer, essentially giving their public backing to the takeover.

As a result, the poker machine maker will form a new independent committee made up of all of its directors except Weizer. Per a regulatory filing, they will review any matters related to the possible bid from a group of investors from China and Hong Kong, as well as any other potential acquisition offers.

Playtech share price has been on a rollercoaster

“TTB, on behalf of an investor group to be formed and advised by it notes that it has been informed by Mor Weizer, the CEO of Playtech, of his intention to explore his potential participation in the TTB Investor Group and that, accordingly,” Playtech said in a letter to the stock market.

“TTB confirms that on Friday 18 February 2022, it was approached by Tom Hall, a former CEO of Playtech, who indicated his interest in participating in the TTB Investor Group along with Mor Weizer. TTB has agreed to explore the proposal by Mor Weizer and Tom Hall to participate in the TTB Investor Group. Any such participation would be on terms compliant with the Code,” the statement further reads.

Playtech share price has been on a rollercoaster since October 2021, responding to each twist in the takeover tale.

Aristocrat Leisure was the only bidder in the three-way race for Playtech after JKO Play, a consortium led by former Formula 1 boss Eddie Jordan and gambling industry veteran Keith O’Loughlin, had pulled out.

Jordan told the Financial Times that he was concerned that a group of Asian investors, who recently bought a stake in the London-listed gambling software developer, would block the deal.

 

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