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A day after voting against a $ 3.7 billion takeover bid for Aristocrat Leisure, Playtech revealed it was in talks with TTB Partners Limited.
Hong Kong-based TTB is acting on behalf of a group of investors interested in acquiring Playtech. Neither the group nor the possible purchase price have been revealed at this time. However, there are indications that the group could be Shanghai-based Gopher Investments, or significantly overlap with them.
In today’s Playtech Re: Media Speculation statement, he said:
“There can be no certainty as to whether this will lead to an offer for the Company, or as to the terms on which any offer could be made. However, any offer, if made, is likely to be in cash.”
In North America, Playtech is one of the leading providers of online betting software. In the circles of online casinos in the United States, it is known as the main competitor of Evolution’s live distributors and its subsidiary, Ezugi.
TTB will not be the bidder
Yesterday, Playtech shareholders met at noon in London and declined Aristocrat’s offer. At 1:37 p.m. yesterday, Playtech released the voting results.
As part of Playtech’s explanation for rejecting Aristocrat, Playtech said it had other offers. However, Playtech only called them “third parties.”
Yesterday afternoon, a TTB representative or representatives approached Playtech, according to today’s Playtech announcement.
TTB did so “on behalf of an investment group that should be formed and advised by it,” the Playtech announcement said.
That’s where things start to get complicated.
Playtech wants to show that it follows the rules
Aristocrat’s statement yesterday indicated that he would no longer pursue Playtech and mentioned an unresponsive shareholder bloc.
These shareholders had acquired their stake in Playtech after October 2021. At that time, talks with Aristocrat were already underway.
A month later, TTB-advised Gopher withdrew its $ 250 million bid for Playtech’s financial trading business, Finalto. The Isle of Man-based online betting software vendor wants to sell Finalto to focus on online betting products.
At the time, Gopher owned almost 5% of Playtech shares.
A January 31 Bloomberg article described the success of the Playtech-Aristocrat deal as “coming from Asia-based investors … who together own more than 20% of the business.” .
Today, Playtech said:
“[The Playtech board] was contacted by TTB Partners Limited on behalf of a group of investors to be formed and advised by him (“TTB”) requesting that Playtech agree to release TTB from its Restrictions under Rule 2.8 of the Code. This publication was requested to allow it to be considered a possible offer for the company. The Board confirms that it has given the requested consent to TTB. ”
Playtech had to wait until the end of the Aristocrat bidding period in order to waive Gopher’s six-month restriction period for bidding on Playtech. Otherwise, Gopher would have had to wait until May 20 to enter a bid period with Playtech.
As if that wasn’t confusing enough, Playtech said it needed TTB to air an offer before June 17th.
Shares of Playtech have risen more than 8% today.