Playtech investor Gopher pulls out of potential takeover battle

FILE PHOTO: Businessman toy figure is placed on gambling chips in front of displayed Playtech logo in this illustration taken
FILE PHOTO: Businessman toy figure is placed on gambling chips in front of displayed Playtech logo in this illustration taken, November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

November 19, 2021

(Reuters) -Gopher Investments, the No.2 shareholder in Playtech, walked away from a potential three-way takeover battle for the British gambling software maker on Friday, saying it was committed to a separate deal to buy a portion of the business.

Playtech’s shares were trading 5% lower at 7.3 pounds by 1233 GMT, giving up all of gains made in the last session after the company said it had received a takeover approach from JKO, a group led by former Formula One boss Eddie Jordan.

Gopher said the process relating to its $250 million deal to buy Playtech’s financial trading division, Finalto, was ongoing and expected to close next year second half.

Hong Kong-based Gopher, which has a 4.97% stake in Playtech, had gatecrashed an earlier sale agreed between Playtech and a consortium led by Israeli private equity firm Barinboim for the unit.

Playtech, founded at the turn of the millennium and today the world’s largest online gaming software supplier, declined to comment on the Gopher announcement on Friday.

Playtech’s board has recommended a 2.1 billion pound offer from Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure for its overall business to shareholders.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)