Playtech Shareholders Reject $2.8B Aristocrat Takeover

Australian gaming company Aristocrat’s bid for gambling software company Playtech fell through on Wednesday, February 2, after the British company’s shareholders rejected the US$2.84 billion offer.

Australian gaming company Aristocrat had needed approval from 75% of Playtech shareholders at Wednesday’s meeting, but less than 55% of votes were cast in favor of the deal, reported Reuters.

Playtech’s share price rose 5% by 1348 GMT after the London-listed company stated it was considering other approaches, without elaborating.

Merger and acquisition business in the gaming and gambling sector has been brisk since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns boosting the popularity of online gaming.

Many of the takeover targets have been UK bookmakers, with suitors looking to acquire British expertise in the field. Ladbrokes-owner Entain has staved off two approaches from US rivals in the past year.

Playtech sparked interest from multiple players last year. It was approached by Hong Kong-based investor Gopher, its No.2 shareholder, and JKO Play consortium, led by former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan.

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