JKO Play No Longer in Race to Buy Playtech

JKO Play No Longer in Race to Buy Playtech

The race to takeover Playtech has seen a major development. JKO Play are no longer in the running. Leaving Aristocrat as the likely new owners of the company if a takeover does take place.

JKO Play are a consortium that has been led by Eddie Jordan, who made his name in F1. Reports say that they were concerned that any deal would be blocked by Asian investors who have recently bought around 27% of Playtech shares.

Playtech provide back-end technology for many gambling companies, including Entain. They had also attracted the interest of Gopher Investments, who are based in Hong Kong. That wasn’t pursued though with them pulling out in November. That left a battle between Aristocrat and JKO Play.

Aristocrat only bidder for JKOK Play

Their possible acquisition has been recommended for acceptance by the Playtech board. Both boards agreed last October on a deal that would see £6.80 for each share held. It’s a deal that is worth £2.7 billion. However, the following month, JKO Play announced that they were interested in acquiring Playtech, cue bidding war.

A Playtech shareholder meeting was due to be held this month. Playtech then gave other companies who may be interested in making a bid, a deadline of January 26 to make a firm offer. That didn’t please Aristocrat as they feel further delays on a decision are simply extending a “period of uncertainty” that currently exists.

Talking about JKO Play, Aristocrat said that they’d already had a “substantial amount of time to make an alternative proposal.”

Now it’s a one-horse race to take over the software giants. News of the decision by JKO Play not to continue their bid came as a surprise. Recently, it had been reported that Indian-born British businessman Vikrant Bhargava was going to help fund their bid.

Aristocrat have now urged all Playtech shareholder to approve the takeover. The delayed shareholders meeting is due to take place on February 2. The value of Playtech shares had been rising. Today’s news saw them fall 15%.