TTB given deadline of 17 June to submit firm Playtech bid

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Playtech bidder TTB Partners has been given a deadline of 17 June to announce whether it will make a bid for the technology giant, following the end of a restricted period.

TTB had been subject to a number of restrictions – part of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers – as a result of its role in advising Gopher Investments, a minority shareholder in Playtech, over its potential takeover offer for the business last year. Gopher ultimately withdrew its offer less than a month after making it.

In February, TTB asked Playtech to release it from these restrictions in order to make an offer itself.

This did not occur, however, meaning TTB was still subject to the restrictions until they ended today (20 May).

Now, under the City Code, TTB must either announce its firm intent to make an offer or announce that it will not do so by 5pm on 17 June.

This deadline can only be extended with the consent of regulatory body the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

“Discussions between the company and TTB are ongoing and progress continues to be made,” the board of Playtech said. “There continues to be no certainty that an offer will be made, or the terms on which any offer may be made.  The independent committee is conscious that TTB has been considering a possible offer for Playtech for 15 weeks.” 

Playtech’s board added that, should it receive a bid, it would pursue whichever option maximises value for shareholders, and pointed to the strong performance of the supplier in its Q1 results.

“The independent committee continues to explore options for maximising shareholder value, and reiterates the strong performance of the group, as announced to the market on 5 May 2022, which has continued through the month of April and into the month of May.”

The prospective offer from TTB already appears to have the backing of Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer and former chief executive Tom Hall, who both revealed that they would “explore participating in” the bid. As a result, Weizer will recuse himself from Playtech’s committee examining the proposal.

TTB’s February 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.

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.

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

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