New hope on the horizon for Playtech as Eddie Jordan reconsiders bid

Playtech’s hopes for a new owner may have been raised, as Irish businessman Eddie Jordan has reportedly renewed his interest in the company, according to The Times.

The newspaper stated today that Jordan is ‘understood to be considering returning to the table’ after a bid for Playtech from Hong Kong investment fund TTB Partners fell through last week

TTB’s deadline for making a firm bid for Playtech had been extended by the B2B igaming supplier twice, with the investment fund finally confirming its withdrawal on Thursday, citing ‘challenging underlying market conditions’.

The firm will remain a shareholder of the FTSE 250 group, and has stated that it will continue to support Playtech’s board and executive management, who are predicting core earnings above €200m in H1 interim trading results. 

Playtech’s search for an owner has now entered its ninth month, with the group’s board initially backing a takeover by Australian ASX-listed global gambling provider Aristocrat Leisure.

The £2.7bn bid was rejected by a large number of Playtech shareholders, with a number of Asian investors apparently dissatisfied with the arrangement, and the company failing to secure the required approval of 75% of stakeholders. 

Voting on Aristocrat’s proposal had been delayed twice so that Playtech could review Eddie Jordan’s JKO Play investment vehicle – co-owned with Keith O’Loughlin – which first expressed interest in a bid in November 2021. 

JKO reportedly secured the financial backing of Indian businessman and Party Gaming Co-Founder Vikrant Bhargava, requiring an offer of over £3bn to draw Playtech stakeholders away from Aristocrat’s £2.7bn bid.

Although continuing to recommend Aristocrat’s offer for the company to its shareholders, Playtech extended JKO’s deadline to submit a bid from 5 January to 26 January, with Jordan and O’Loughlin apparently nearing making a bid of 750p per share before withdrawing.

Commenting at the time of TTB’s withdrawal, Mor Weizer, Group CEO of Playtech, maintained confidence in Playtech’s prospects moving forward.

“Playtech carries strong momentum going into H2 2022 and continues to perform very well across its core B2B and B2C businesses,” he said. 

“We remain confident in our long-term growth prospects and, in particular, our ability to benefit from the structured agreements that are already allowing Playtech to access newly opened gambling markets.”

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