Home > Strategy > Playtech hits back at Gopher Investments over Finalto bid claims

Playtech hits back at Gopher Investments over Finalto bid claims

| By Nosa Omoigui
Playtech has reaffirmed its stance that it requires more clarity from Gopher Investments with regards to its bid for Playtech's financial division Finalto, after Gopher claimed it had provided all the information asked of it.

Earlier this week, Playtech took the decision to reschedule its general meeting where shareholders would vote on a proposal already on the table from a consortium led by the Barinboim Group which Playtech’s board had agreed to accept.

The vote, initially scheduled for 15 July, had been delayed after Gopher lodged a $250m bid for Finalto in July, rivalling the Barinboim bid, with playtech using the extra time to ask more questions of Gopher’s offer.

However, Playtech’s board ultimately opted to continue to recommend the Barinboim offer, citing Gopher’s lack of “clarity” with regards to its own bid.

Playtech’s board said Gopher responded to initial questions, but that it was left waiting for responses to follow-up questions which would allow it to proceed with negotiations.

A subsequent Gopher statement claimed the company was “highly disappointed with the Board of Playtech’s decision not to change its recommendation”, claiming that the timeline of events has been misrepresented by Playtech.

Gopher alleges to have responded promptly to Playtech’s initial request for additional information regarding finances and regulatory approval. Disclosure of further information was deemed confidential and necessitated a confidentiality agreement being put in place – which Gopher claims both companies agreed to.

It then said Playtech planned to issue a circular which would be made public before any confidentiality agreement could be implemented, causing a pause in the confidentiality process. It added that it did not expect Playtech to reveal it had received insufficient information or for the board to announce its continued backing of the Barinboim offer.

Playtech has responded to these claims, saying: “Playtech does not recognise Gopher’s characterisation of the chain of events to which it refers in its press release of 3 August 2021.  If Gopher is willing to provide the requested information, Playtech would welcome Gopher doing so.

“As previously stated, the proposal received from Gopher is uncertain in terms of its deliverability, principally because it remains not binding in nature and subject to a number of conditions. Accordingly, the Board is currently not in a position to change its recommendation to Shareholders in respect of the disposal and the resolution as set out in the original circular.”

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