Not enough shareholder support
It appears that Aristocrat Leisure’s attempt to acquire Playtech for $3.7bn will be unsuccessful. The Playtech board has been in favor of the October takeover offer, but a shareholder vote was necessary to approve the deal.
the offer failing to reach the necessary 75% support
Playtech revealed on Wednesday that the proxy votes it has gotten so far point toward the offer failing to reach the necessary 75% support in order to proceed. It does appear that there will be more votes in favor of the bid than against it, with shareholders representing 43.87% of the business reportedly voting against the deal. There are currently no other takeover offers remaining.
Rumors were making the rounds last week that in the event that the Aristocrat deal did not get shareholder support, Playtech would potentially break up its business. Playtech’s board confirmed on Wednesday that it will be looking at this approach in order to maximize shareholder value. The company would sell off its B2C and B2B businesses, provided it gets shareholder and regulatory approval.
Aristocrat moving on to other opportunities
Speaking about the apparent failure of its bid to takeover Playtech was Aristocrat Leisure managing director and CEO Trevor Croker. He said that the company is disappointed and that “developments since the announcement of our offer have been highly unusual and largely beyond Aristocrat’s control.”
Croker explained that a group of shareholders recently emerged in opposition to a takeover, which had a material impact on the prospects of the offer. This group allegedly refused to engage with Playtech or Aristocrat on the matter.
will now look at other strategic merger and acquisition opportunities
The Australia-based gaming company will now look at other strategic merger and acquisition opportunities, particularly in the real money online gambling sector. It will provide further details regarding its future plans to investors at the annual general meeting later this month.
Numerous interested parties
Despite numerous parties expressing keen interest in taking over Playtech, it looks like their efforts were also unsuccessful. Aristocrat kicked off the bidding when it made an offer in October. Gopher Investments, the second biggest Playtech shareholder, had shown some interest in making its own bid, but backed off in November.
A consortium led by former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan had been planning to make a £3bn ($4bn) takeover offer. However, JKO Play announced on January 21 that it would not be moving forward with its plans. This U-turn was reportedly due to the emergence of the group of shareholders who seemingly did not support a takeover.