Playtech stands by Aristocrat deal as media reports of Asian investors revolt

The board of Playtech Plc has this morning responded to media speculation of a ‘contingency plan’ to break-up its business units, should the sale of the company be thwarted by a ‘collective of Asian shareholders.

As reported by Sky News, boardroom concerns loom at Playtech that the recommended £2.7 billion takeover offer made by Aristocrat Leisure will be voted down by Asian investors who collectively hold approximately 15% of the FTSE250 technology group’s shareholding.

Playtech will host a general meeting for investors to vote on Aristocrat’s 680p-a-share on Wednesday 2 February.

The vote has been rescheduled twice as Playtech governance granted bid rival JKO Play, a consortium led by former Formula-1 team owner Eddie Jordan time to propose a counteroffer to shareholders– a bid that did not materialise.

Sky News reported that Jordan’s bid “was abandoned, ostensibly because of concerns about the intentions of the Asian shareholders.”

A contingency plan has been drafted by Playtech’s financial advisors, that would see the board pursue a break-up and auction of the technology group’s online gambling software, B2B unit and its Snaitech Italia betting business.

This morning, Playtech governance issued a statement confirming that it was aware of media speculation surrounding the company’s future strategy.

“The Board of Directors reiterates its recommendation that shareholders vote in favour of the offer from Aristocrat Leisure Limited” – read Playtech’s statement.

“Whilst Playtech has made significant strategic and operational progress and is in a strong position for the future, Aristocrat’s proposal provides an attractive opportunity for shareholders to accelerate the delivery of Playtech’s longer-term value.”

 

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