Home > Strategy > Playtech completes Finalto sale, setting the stage for acquisition by Aristocrat

Playtech completes Finalto sale, setting the stage for acquisition by Aristocrat

| By Nosa Omoigui
Playtech's shareholders have approved the sale of its financial trading division Finalto to Gopher Investments, paving the way for Australian slot machine manufacturer Aristocrat to complete its acquisition of Playtech.

The Finalto sale “meets a key condition” of Aristocrat’s offer to acquire all of the remaining Playtech business. Aristocrat and Playtech will now work together to complete the acquisition, which is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022. The final details such as seeking regulatory approval are said to be “progressing well”.

Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker, said: “The approval given by Playtech shareholders to dispose of Finalto meets a condition of Aristocrat’s recommended offer and is a further step forward in the completion process.”

Finalto had been the subject of several bids over the summer period. Playtech initially agreed to sell the division to Barinboim Consrtium in May for $210m, before Gopher Investments made its interest known with a rival bid. After Barinboim’s bid was rejected by shareholders, Playtech’s board approved Gopher’s offer.

Then, in October, Aristocrat had a £2.7bn bid for Playtech accepted on an enterprise value basis, which would see Aristocrat pay 680 pence for each Playtech share in an all-cash agreement. Aristocrat believed this would provide the business with “material scale” in both the igaming and online sports betting segments.

Gopher, however, looked to hijack Aristocrat’s bid, making an offer of its own to acquire Playtech last month. However, last week, it withdrew from the running.

Playtech also received a preliminary approach from JKO Play, a company headed by Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan and Keith O’Loughlin, although talks never progressed past early stages.

Playtech published the scheme document for the Aristocrat acquisition in November, outlining the company’s reasons for accepting the Australian company’s bid.

“Aristocrat’s offer for Playtech has been recommended by the Playtech board, and is the only offer on the table for shareholders,” Croker addded. “We believe that Aristocrat’s offer provides an attractive value and enhanced regulatory and financial certainty for Playtech shareholders, while the combined group will also provide greater opportunities for Playtech employees in a leading global organisation.”

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