Former F1 Team Boss Eddie Jordan Considers Entering Race to Acquire Playtech

  • The former F1 team boss has formed a consortium with ex-SG executive Keith O’Loughlin
  • According to reports, JKO Play is considering an offer of £3bn ($4.03bn) for Playtech
  • Aristocrat and Gopher are also in the race to acquire Playtech, with multibillion-dollar bids
  • Jordan led an unsuccessful bid to acquire Scientific Games’ OpenBet platform earlier this year
Former F1 boss Eddie Jordan
Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan (pictured in center above) and a group of partners have expressed an interest in making a £3bn ($4.03bn) offer for gaming supplier Playtech. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Joining the bidding war

Ex-Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan might have more experience with fast cars than the world of online gambling. However, the Irish business mogul is part of a consortium considering making an offer for gaming software provider Playtech.

Jordan’s bid will stand at around £3bn ($4.03bn)

For his bid, Jordan has teamed up with Keith O’Loughlin, the former senior vice-president sportsbook of Scientific Games. Together, they have set up a consortium called JKO Play, and the group has confirmed that it is “evaluating making a competing offer for Playtech.” According to media reports, Jordan’s bid will stand at around £3bn ($4.03bn).

If it does choose to join the bidding war, JKO Play will join Australian slot machine developer Aristocrat Leisure and investment firm Gopher Investments. The former has already received acceptance for its initial bid of 680p per share. Any rival hoping to stop that deal will have to offer at least 748p per share, or 10% higher.

How do they stack up?

With new interest from Jordan and co, there are now three main parties interested in acquiring Playtech. Aristocrat was the first to join the party in October this year with its AU$5bn ($3.6bn) takeover offer. Deeming that bid “fair and reasonable,” Playtech’s Board confirmed that it had chosen to accept a deal with the Australian gaming giant.

Aristocrat subsequently announced it was proceeding with the regulatory approvals for the deal, but then Gopher Investments threw its hat in the ring. The firm muddied the water earlier this month by offering £3bn ($4.03bn) for Playtech. The size of Gopher’s bid would allow the Playtech board to abandon the process of accepting the Aristocrat offer.

Now, Eddie Jordan and his partners could potentially throw another spanner in the works by matching Gopher’s offer. As reported by The Guardian, Playtech has confirmed that it has “received a preliminary approach from JKO Play seeking access to certain due diligence information.”

According to Sky News, a fourth company could even enter the mix. Caliente and Playtech are supposedly holding talks regarding a potential merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

From F1 to gambling

Eddie Jordan made a name for himself in the world of F1 in the 1990s by creating his own team. His drivers included some of the sports biggest legends, such as Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell, and Ayrton Senna. After selling his eponymous team in 2005 he later became a pundit for the BBC’s F1 coverage.

the business mogul had received the backing of Keith O’Loughlin

Jordan first signified his desire to enter the world of gaming earlier this year when news broke that he would lead a $1bn bid to acquire Scientific Games’ OpenBet sports wagering platform. Irish business news website The Currency confirmed that the motorsport tycoon had received the backing of Keith O’Loughlin to make the offer. 

Sadly for Jordan, Scientific Games has since confirmed the sale of OpenBet to Endeavor Group Holdings in a $1.2bn cash and stock transaction. The companies expect the acquisition to complete in the spring of 2022.