JKO Play’s exit clears the way for Aristocrat to acquire Playtech

JKO Play’s exit clears the way for Aristocrat to acquire Playtech

JKO Play has officially withdrawn from the Playtech takeover competition, clearing the way for Aristocrat to make a £2.7 billion bid in October 2021. 

Prior overtures had also been made by Gopher Investments, a 4.97 percent stakeholder that acquired the group’s Finalto financial services subsidiary in December, fulfilling one of the primary prerequisites for Aristocrat’s proposed acquisition of the firm.

Aristocrat Imminent Takeover

However, a month earlier, JKO, backed by former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan and ex-Scientific Games executive Keith O’Loughlin, was confirmed as a third potential buyer of Playtech, amid allegations that a £3 billion counterbid was in the works. Gopher abandoned its acquisitive aspirations one day after it became evident what JKO’s plans were.

Earlier this month, following confirmation last week that the Playtech shareholder meeting to accept the Aristocrat bid would be rescheduled for February 2, 2022, JKO got an extension of the time to announce a definite intention to make an offer or withdraw. This was changed to 5 p.m. on January 26, 2022, from the previous cut-off time of 5 p.m. on January 5, 2022.

Despite widespread speculation that the group had acquired financial backing for its pursuit, JKO, which owns 0.51 percent of Playtech, has now declared that it “does not intend to make an offer. However, according to note two to rule 2.8 of the ‘Takeover Code,’ JKO retains the power to waive the limits in a variety of instances.

These are with the approval of the Playtech board of directors if a third party declares a firm intention to make an offer, if the gambling technology company makes a whitewash proposal, or if a major change in circumstances occurs.

Despite this rumored interest, Aristocrat has continuously remained the frontrunner to secure any potential merger following its original offer of £2.7 billion, or 680 pence per share, a 58 percent premium to the company’s closing price during the week preceding its initial offer.

Client Reach Expansion

Aristocrat has stated that if it is successful in acquiring the company, it intends to use its new Snaitech subsidiary to ‘operate and innovate’ in Europe, while also increasing its income, expanding its client reach, and providing meaningful scale in online gaming. Previously, it was suggested that the transaction could close in the second quarter of 2022.

About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.