Playtech Puts Off Planned Shareholder Meetings to Give JKO Play More Time for Potential Takeover Offer

Gambling software development company Playtech has decided to put off its planned shareholder meetings to approve the Aristocrat Leisure’s takeover deal.

The operator is trying to buy more time to discuss a potential acquisition bid with JKO Play, although until recently Aristocrat Leisure was considered the frontrunner for the acquisition of Playtech. As Casino Guardian previously reported, in October 2021 the two companies even agreed on a takeover worth £2.1 billion (about AU$4 billion) but the deal has stepped along a bumpy road.

As originally planned, both Playtech and Aristocrat Leisure were supposed to hold general and court meetings on January 12th, 2022. However, the meetings have been rescheduled for February 2nd in a move aimed at providing JKO Play with more time to unveil the terms of a potential acquisition bid that it will now have to table in a few weeks.

Under the provisions of the UK Takeover Code’s Rule 2.7, JKO Play will have time until 5:00 PM on January 26th, 2022 to officially disclose its position on the potential takeover offer for Playtech’s assets. The Isle of Man-based gambling software developer was first approached by the company in November last year, and after facing some problems, JKO Play decided to re-enter the competition for the software development operator’s business again.

JKO Play Has Until January 26th to Make an Official Acquisition Offer for Playtech’s Business

Playtech revealed that the discussions with JKO Play are making progress, which is why it made the decision to postpone the original deadline for the company’s takeover offer from January 5th to January 26th.

In a statement, it also revealed that the extension of the original deadline and postponement of the dates to finalize the acquisition deal with Aristocrat Leisure was in the best interest of all Playtech shareholders. However, JKO Play would be required to make its position on the issue clear within this period. Even though a new date has been officially announced, there is no guarantee that JKO Play will decide to approach the company with a certain takeover bid, Playtech officials noted.

Although there has been some speculation on the matter, Aristocrat Leisure commented on the delay, saying that its acquisition bid is the only firm offer for the company’s business. Representatives of the Australian gambling machine manufacturer further shared that its offer provides the highest financial and regulatory certainty for the shareholders of Playtech and also brings attractive cash value for the gambling software developer’s assets. According to Aristocrat Leisure, other potential participants in the bidding process had more than enough time to table their bids and the shareholder meetings delay brings only further uncertainty for Playtech’s investors.

Playtech was required to sell its financial arm, Finalto, to Gopher Investments in order to clear the way for the proposed Aristocrat Leisure deal, and so it did. The deal was estimated at more than £186 million (about $250 million). Then, however, Gopher Investments demonstrated some interest in participating in the bidding process for Playtech’s assets after Aristocrat Leisure had already made its acquisition offer. Eventually, it decided to withdraw from the competition but noted it could come up with a new takeover bid should Aristocrat decide to abandon the purchase plans.

Despite some difficulties faced on the way, the Australian gambling company confirmed that it remains committed to the proposed takeover deal and is willing to finalise the acquisition as soon as possible. According to some early forecasts, the takeover deal is set to be completed over the second quarter of 2022.

  • Author

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.
Daniel Williams
Casino Guardian covers the latest news and events in the casino industry. Here you can also find extensive guides for roulette, slots, blackjack, video poker, and all live casino games as well as reviews of the most trusted UK online casinos and their mobile casino apps.

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