Playtech to go on £800m shopping spree as it eyes up Pokerstars owner Amaya and OpenBet

Freya Wood
Online Gambling Sites
The online gambling company is looking to expand (Source: Getty)

Gambling software powerhouse Playtech is reportedly planning to use funds of up to £800m to launch a string of new acquisitions.

Playtech, founded by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi in 1999, is thought to be eyeing up the UK-based software developer OpenBet, owned by Vitruvian Partners, in a £250m deal.

However, as the firm has contracts with most of the UK’s major bookmakers, an acquisition could spark competition questions.

Playtech is also said to be considering a bid for Amaya, the Canadian owner of Pokerstars, which is subject to a $2bn (£1.4bn) “take-private” bid from its chief executive, David Baazov, the Sunday Times reported.

Playtech has available cash of around £600m and a further £200m can be easily accessed by selling stakes in Ladbrokes and the online foreign exchange trader Plus500.

The latest takeover push follows a number of deals made in 2015, such as its purchase of YoYo Games.

However, Playtech suffered a setback in November when its bids for Plus500 and the online derivatives broker Ava Trade fell through due to regulatory concerns.

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