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Playtech hails “excellent” Q1 as adjusted EBITDA exceeds €100m

| By Robert Fletcher
Playtech said it was able to continue its strong end to last year during the first quarter of its 2022 financial year, revealing adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period exceeded €100.0m (£84.5m/$106.0m).
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In a trading update, Playtech said its performance for the three months to 31 March, as well as in April, was, driven by both its B2B and B2C businesses. 

For B2C, Playtech said its Snaitech division experienced an “excellent” start to the year due to growth in its online business, retail recovery and favourable sports results.

Looking at B2B, Playtech said growth here was driven by strong momentum from the Americas, in particular with Caliplay in Mexico. Playtech also noted a strong performance across the wider B2B operations, with its live casino business signing new partners and launching several new games. 

“The excellent start to the year gives the board great confidence in the prospects for FY 2022,” Playtech said. “As would be expected, the board remains cautious and focused given that we are at an early stage in the year, combined with the uncertain macro backdrop due to the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine. 

“The board is also conscious there cannot be any certainty that the strength across the business so far will be repeated throughout the remainder of the year. That said, the company’s performance to date and current trends in the business positions the company very well and the board would hope to be able to update the market further as we progress through the year.”

Meanwhile, Playtech provided an update on the ongoing talks with TTB Partners over the potential acquisition of the business. TTB made an approach over a possible takeover in February, with Playtech agreeing to release TTB from certain restrictions to allow it to form and potentially make an offer.

This came soon after an acquisition offer from Aristocrat Leisure collapsed.

Playtech said there had been some positive progress in discussions with the TTB, but there was still no certainty as to whether an offer would be made, nor the terms on which any offer might be made.

The restrictions previously placed on TTB – part of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers – came as a result of its role in advising Gopher Investments, a minority shareholder in Playtech, over its potential takeover offer for the business. 

Gopher Investments registered an interest in making a bid in November 2021 but dropped out of the running a few weeks later. 

The restrictions on TTB, which would have blocked it from making an offer itself, were due to remain in place for six months from the withdrawal date, through to 20 May. However, with these lifted, TTB was able to begin to form its own offer.

There is currently no deadline for a potential offer from TTB, while Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer has declared his support for a possible bid.

Elsewhere, Playtech said it is still exploring the option of a possible transaction in relation to its Caliplay joint venture with Mexico’s Caliente. Plans to spin off Caliplay are already in motion, through a combination and listing with a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC).

In addition, Playtech said that the disposal of its Finalto financial trading division to Gopher remains on track to complete before the end of the second quarter, with two of the four required regulatory clearances having now been received.

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