Aristocrat, an Australian-listed gaming manufacturer, tabled a proposal to take over Playtech in October 2021. The Playtech shareholders were set to vote on the proposal when JKO announced its intention to enter the race. JKO is a consortium led by former Formula One team leader Eddie Jordon and Keith O’Loughlin, a former executive at U.S. slot machine maker Scientific Games.
Playtech shareholder meeting moved
The Playtech shareholder meeting to approve the Aristocrat offer was adjourned to February 2, 2022, and JKO was given an extended deadline to announce its intention of making an offer or withdrawing.
Playtech, a top gambling software developer, recently announced new deals that would see the brand expand its U.S. presence. It will launch a studio in collaboration with Parx Interactive through its Plan Gun Lake brand for Michigan online gambling. It has also made a deal in New Jersey, and the launch of its live casino offerings is the next step in the strategic expansion of the company. It will initially offer classic blackjack, baccarat and roulette live dealer tables.
JKO was rumored to have secured funding but it recently announced that it wasn’t going to make an offer. The consortium owns a 0.51% stake in Playtech and it had access to certain due diligence information so it could explore the terms of the offer. It considered the acquisition for about two months before making the announcement that it wouldn’t go ahead. It gave no reason for its decision.
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Aristocrat left as the sole bidder
JKO’s decision leaves Aristocrat as the sole bidder, and Playtech shareholders will have to vote on its offer in February. Aristocrat, with its offer that values the company at £2.7bn, is therefore still the frontrunner. If it acquires Playtech, it intends to expand its customer reach and its operations. The deal could possibly be concluded in the 2nd quarter of 2022.
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