Gambling technology group Playtech postponed its decision to acquire Aristocrat for £2.7 billion, which ignited the hope of a bidding war, as competitor JKO Play has given more time to make an offer.
Playtech provides software for gambling companies to support their live casinos, and said in a statement Wednesday that “discussions with JKO are ongoing. JKO has asked for more time to formulate the terms of its potential offer to the company. ”
The UK Takeover Commission has revised the deadline given to JKO to announce that it will postpone its firm intention to make a takeover offer to Playtech from January 5 to January 26, 2022. Playtech postponed the approval date for the acquisition of Aristocrat Leisure to February 2.
The company agreed in October to an Australian gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat’s £2.7 billion takeover offer, subject to conditions.
Playtech was founded in 1999 by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi and was attracted by JKO in November. JKO is a group controlled by former Formula One boss Eddie Jordan and former Science Games executives. The consortium has been working with the company since the company was approached, and it is reported that the company is worth more than £3 billion.
But the company stated that Playtech directors continue to advocate that shareholders “vote for Aristocrat’s proposal.”
Aristocrat stated that it was “happy to note the recent recommendations made by the proxy adviser to Playtech shareholders, asking them to vote for all resolutions to implement the proposed acquisition.”
It added that the regulatory approval process is “going smoothly” and is “committed to completing the acquisition as soon as possible.”
According to people familiar with the matter, the deal depends on the outcome of negotiations surrounding the listing of the Playtech and Caliente joint venture through Spac.
Aristocrat is the only one of two bidders that have received regulatory approval to operate in the United States as companies seek to take advantage of the legalization of sports betting and online gaming in more states, including Michigan.
After the announcement, Playtech’s stock price fell on Wednesday, down nearly 2%, from 732.5p to 720p.