Playtech delays takeover decision as bidding war looms
Playtech has delayed a vote on a takeover bid from Australian gambling giant Aristocrat today, as a potential bidding war looms with a consortium led by former F1 boss Eddie Jordan.
Isle-of-Man based Playtech, which makes software for gambling companies, announced it had pushed back a shareholder vote on Aristocrat’s £2.7bn takeover bid from 12 January to 2 February.
The gambling tech firm was approached in November by JKO, a consortium led by former F1 boss Eddie Jordan and former Ladbrokes executive Keith O’Loughlin.
The pair requested more time in order to explore a possible counter bid for the firm.
After the delay in the shareholder vote the UK’s Takeover Panel has ruled that the JKO now has until 5pm on January 26 to announce a firm intention that it will make an offer or withdraw.
Aristocrat is understood to be the current frontrunner after it agreed to a £2.7bn deal with Playtech back in October.
Playtech said earlier today that it continued to recommend to shareholders that they vote in favour of the Aristocrat offer.
Aristocrat noted today that its offer remained the only firm offer on the table for the firm.
The firm said in a statement: “Aristocrat further notes that any other potential bidders have already had a substantial amount of time to make an alternative proposal for Playtech.”
The Australian gambling giant is the only of the bidders to have gained approval to operate in the US.