Playtech extends deadline for potential TTB bid

| By Robert Fletcher
Playtech has extended the deadline for Asian-based investment group TTB Partners to declare its firm intention to make a bid for the gambling technology giant until 15 July.

TTB was initially given until 5pm today (17 June) to announce whether it would submit a bid, but with discussions still ongoing with Playtech, the group has been given another month to reach a decision.

Playtech said the independent committee believes allowing additional time for discussions to further develop is in the best interests of its shareholders and other stakeholders. The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers agreed to extend the deadline until 5pm on 15 July.

This deadline could be extended again should the Panel allow additional time for talks.

Playtech added that there is still no certainty that TTB will submit a takeover offer for the business. 

TTB first approached Playtech over a possible bid in February this year when it approached the tech giant with a request to release it from certain restrictions in order to allow TTB to form and potentially make an offer.

These restrictions– 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 registered an interest in making a bid in November last year 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. Playtech opted not to lift the restrictions, but when the six-month period passed, the initial deadline of today was announced.

The request to be released from the restrictions came after a bid from Aristocrat Leisure for Playtech, which had been recommended by the Playtech board, was rejected by shareholders.

Should the TTB deal go through, Playtech is expected to remain publicly listed, rather than going private.

Prior to confirmation of the TTB talks, Playtech’s board said the business could be broken up and sold off in parts, a prospect first raised last month.

The deadline extension comes after Playtech this week announced that it had received all required regulatory approvals to complete the sale of its Finalto financial trading division to Gopher.

The all-cash sale was approved by shareholders during a general meeting in December last year and, in line with the sale and purchase agreement, is expected to complete on 30 June.

Gopher, a minority shareholder in Playtech, tabled its $250m (£208m/€239m) bid for Finalto in June last year. The Playtech board agreed to sell the business to Gopher in September of 2021.

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