Playtech may have a whole new outlook on the world shortly. That’s because Friday is the deadline the company gave an unnamed investor group to submit a bid for its acquisition.
The Isle of Man-based online gambling software supplier also announced a separate plan to streamline its business today. On June 30, the sale of its financial trading division, Finalto, will be… well, final. Divesting itself of those operations will leave Playtech as a pure-play iGaming supplier.
Shanghai-based Gopher Investments is buying Finalto in a $250 million all-cash transaction.
That’s a lot of changes in a short time for the company, which could find itself in a very different situation come July 1.
Playtech’s announcement today sounds somewhat celebratory:
The completion of the Transaction is a significant step in Playtech’s stated strategy to simplify the group and to focus on its technology led offering as a pureplay business in the high growth B2B and B2C gambling markets.
Its stock rose nearly 8% today.
Playtech sold Finalto to Gopher for $250 million.
In today’s press release, Playtech said:
The completion of the Transaction is a significant step in Playtech’s stated strategy to simplify the group and to focus on its technology led offering as a pureplay business in the high growth B2B and B2C gambling markets. The sale proceeds will be used to repay the outstanding balance on its revolving credit facility with the remainder of proceeds used for general corporate purposes.
Even as Playtech pursues streamlining its business into pureplay online casino gambling offerings, it’s awaiting word from a potential bidder. On Friday, an investor group may present an offer to acquire Playtech.
Playtech’s stock declined more than 1% today.
Playtech extended the bid deadline to July 15.
The company issued a statement today:
Discussions between the Company and TTB are ongoing and progress continues to be made. At present, the Independent Committee believes allowing additional time for discussions to further develop is in the best interests of the Company’s shareholders and other stakeholders. Accordingly, the Independent Committee requested that the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Panel”) extend the deadline by which TTB must clarify its intentions. The Panel has granted this extension.
Playtech May See a Bid on Friday
Playtech gave an unnamed investor group from May 20 until Friday to present the company with a bid. The group has enlisted Hong Kong-based TTB Partners Limited to represent it.
Even if the investor group comes through, the acquisition won’t be a done deal quite yet. After all, Playtech has a history of rejecting suitors.
On Feb. 2, it declined a $3.7 billion offer from Australia-based Aristocrat Leisure. A few days before, London-based investment and acquisition company JKO Play bowed out of buying Playtech.
Why Playtech Matters to US Online Casino Players
US online casino customers may not do business with Playtech directly, but most will have experienced its products.
For instance, Playtech’s site boasts of the following to online casino players:
Playtech offers the industry’s most extensive casino game portfolio, delivering over 700 innovative in-house and premium branded titles, including DC Entertainment tie-ins such as Justice League, Superman and The Dark Knight, film-themed favourites including The Matrix, Gladiator and Robocop, and original content such as Age of the Gods and Jackpot Giant.
If that information doesn’t impress, there’s more. Playtech partners with US online gambling operators like Bet365 in New Jersey and provides live dealer products to PlayGunLake in Michigan.
In Illinois, Playtech’s joint venture with Caliente Interactive is yielding results. The state is nearing approval to allow Caliplay, the online casino and sports betting operator’s brand, to become the first Mexican company to enter the US online sportsbook market.
If the idea of a tech provider in a joint venture on an online gambling operator brand sounds familiar, that’s because of BetMGM. The New Jersey-based operator came about through a 50/50 deal between Isle of Man-headquartered Entain and Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International.
That said, Caliplay would have a lot of ground to make up if it hopes to challenge BetMGM, the clear market leader for US iGaming.
However, Playtech’s narrower focus and possible new investors may also produce benefits for the joint venture.