Playtech braced for GBP3bn bid from Eddie Jordan


Playtech PLC (AIM:PTEC), a UK gambling software development company, is preparing itself for a GBP3bn bid from a consortium led by former F1 boss Eddie Jordan.

Jordan, who sold his F1 team in 2005, is believed to be working with Centerbridge Partners, a US-based investor, on financing an offer.

Playtech confirmed JKO Play Limited, established by Jordan and Keith O’Loughlin, a former executive at Scientific Games, had made a preliminary approach on November 5 seeking access to certain due diligence information.

The structure of any potential deal is somewhat complicated however, with the offer reportedly made of partly cash and partly contingent value rights (CVR), according to Sky News.

Interest in the company, which specialises in software for online gambling games, is high, with Aristocrat Leisure agreeing a 680p-a-share bid for Playtech last month.

However, the terms of the agreement between Playtech and the Australian based gambling firm state any undertakings it has secured would lapse if a rival placed a bid at least 10% higher than its own, implying any bid would need to be at least 748p-a-share.

The London-listed company is also said to be expecting a bid from Gopher Investments, currently its second largest shareholder, for which it received a preliminary approach from in October.

Speculation about a new emerging has raised investors’ hopes, with shares up 4.25% to GBP7.50 valuing the gaming group at GBP2.3bn.

Mergers and acquisitions activity in the online gaming sector is red hot currently.

Flutter entertainment announced the GBP402mln purchase of Sunderland based betting company Tombola this morning.

888 Holdings were also reportedly in talks to purchase William Hill’s non-US business from Caesar Entertainment last month.


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