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Playtech shareholders reject Aristocrat acquisition in favour of break-up

Playtech shareholders reject Aristocrat acquisition in favour of break-up


The proposed acquisition of Playtech by Australian gaming giant, Aristocrat, has failed to secure enough shareholder support to go ahead, with the gambling industry’s leading technology company now set to be broken up and sold as separate component parts.

A total of 174 Playtech shareholders (56.13%) voted in favour of the bid at a court meeting, with 54.68% doing so at a general meeting. Both of these totals fell short of the 75% threshold required to secure approval for the 680 pence/share bid that valued the company at £2.7bn ($3.67bn).

The Board of Playtech had previously advised that in the event of the deal collapsing, focus would switch to selling of the group’s component businesses in order to maximise shareholder value. Such proposals for its B2B and B2B subsidiaries have already been received and are being evaluated.

Chief Executive Mor Werzer said: “Playtech remains in a strong position and continues to perform very well across its core B2B and B2C businesses. This progress reflects the quality of our technology and products and the hard work and commitment of our talented team. 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 gaming markets.”

Chair Brian Mattingley believes the acquisition process has shone a spotlight on Playtech’s “fundamental premium value”, adding that “Playtech is the leading technology company in the gambling industry, with an unrivalled quality and breadth of products.”

Aristocrat expressed disappointment but confirmed its commitment to accelerating growth in the online gaming sector and to assessing alternative acquisition targets.