Regulators greenlight Playtech’s Finalto sale to Gopher

abdelaziz Fathi

Playtech, the London-listed gambling software developer, hailed the conclusion of an extensive process as it received all of the required regulatory approvals to sell Finalto to Gopher Investments for $250 million.

Welcoming the announcement, the gaming technology developer asserted that the acquisition of its financial trading division is on track to be completed June 30, 2022.

“In line with the sale and purchase agreement with Gopher Investments, the Company now expects completion to occur on 30 June 2022, being the last day of the month in which regulatory approvals were received. The completion of the Transaction is a significant step in Playtech’s stated strategy to simplify the group and to focus on its technology led offering as a pureplay business in the high growth B2B and B2C gambling markets,” the latest announcement stated.

On August 18, Playtech’s general meeting rebuffed a proposed $210 million to sell Finalto to a consortium led by Israel’s Barinboim Group. Nearly 70% of votes cast were against the transaction as shareholders argued the offer undervalues the business.

This has forced Playtech’s board to go back and engage with Gopher Investments, which owns a 5% stake in the firm founded by Teddy Sagi, after it has rejected its initial offer. A month later, Playtech agreed to sell its Finalto brand to Gopher Investments, which confirmed its $250 million bid to acquire the supplier’s financial trading division.

Following a months-long battle, Playtech’s board said it recommends unanimously in favour of the acquisition. The FTSE 250-listed group didn’t change its recommendation, particularly as it didn’t receive interest in Finalto from other potential acquiring parties.

Over the year Playtech has refocused the business, with the sale of Casual and Social Gaming in January and the disposal of Finalto due to complete later this month. The company reported revenue of €1.21 billion for the twelve months through December 2021, which was up 12% compared to the €1.07 billion accrued in the same period in 2020.

The solid performance was driven by B2B online growth, particularly Latin America and Snaitech. Highlighting its success, Playtech said the revenue growth more than offset hurdles encountered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the B2B gambling segment grew by 11% to €554.3 million compared to €494.8 million a year earlier.

The gambling technology company has also laid the foundations for its US business to become one of its biggest growth drivers by doubling revenues in the region. Playtech announced new deals that saw the brand expand its US presence to include live casino studios in New Jersey and Michigan.

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