Playtech Postpones Vote on Aristocrat Takeover

With at least one rival bid ready to compete with Aristocrat’s proposed takeover of gaming software supplier Playtech PLC, Playtech has postponed its shareholder vote on the bid.

Playtech Postpones Vote on Aristocrat Takeover

U.K.-based iGaming software supplier Playtech PLC has postponed its planned shareholder vote on the proposed US$2.9 billion takeover bid by Australian slot supplier Aristocrat Leisure Limited.

The vote, slated for January 12, has been delayed three weeks to February 2, as a rival takeover bid is expected from JKO Play Ltd., a consortium led by former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan and former Scientific Games executive Keith O’Loughlin. The U.K. Takeover Panel gave JKO a January 26 deadline to make its own bid.

Aristocrat’s bid, made in October, offers 680 pence per share, a 58 percent premium over Playtech’s share price at the time of 429 pence per share. In November, JKO revealed that it was attempting to acquire funding from a New York private equity fund to finance the transaction.

In a filing, Aristocrat claimed its bid “remains the only firm offer that has been made for Playtech.

“The Recommended Acquisition provides attractive value in cash and enhanced regulatory and financial certainty for Playtech shareholders,” the company said. “Aristocrat further notes that any other potential bidders have already had a substantial amount of time to make an alternative proposal for Playtech. The decision to further delay the relevant shareholder meetings extends the period of uncertainty for all Playtech stakeholders.

“Aristocrat is pleased to note the recent recommendations to Playtech shareholders from proxy advisers to vote in favor of all the resolutions to implement the Recommended Acquisition. Aristocrat further confirms that the regulatory approvals process remains well on track, and it is committed to completing the acquisition as quickly as possible.”

Aristocrat recently raised AU$1.3 billion (US$965 million) towards its proposed acquisition of Playtech.