Gopher Investments Approaches Online Gambling Software Playtech with £3-Billion Takeover Bid

Olivia Cole

An investment vehicle company that acquired a stake in the popular gambling software provider Playtech earlier in 2021, is now making plans to take over the company in a £3-billion deal.

As Sky News reported, Gopher Investments is currently being advised by Rothschild bankers over a possible acquisition of the world’s largest supplier of online gaming software. Rumour has it that the bid would surpass a recommended offer from the Australian operator Aristocrat Leisure that was officially revealed in October.

According to sources familiar with the situation that were cited by Sky News, the ongoing consideration for a takeover bid would not necessarily result in Gopher Investments making a formal acquisition offer. The company, however, is seriously considering making such a bid.

A potential bidding war for the world’s largest online gambling software provider would add up to a pretty busy year of corporate deal-making not only in the UK but in the global gambling industry, too. Currently, the overall market value of Playtech is about £2.2 billion. That amount plus the company’s £600-million debt makes the offer value Playtech at approximately £2.7 billion.

Sky News reported that Gopher Investments is expected to make an official statement to confirm its interest in making a takeover offer for Playtech later on Monday.

Gopher Investments Becomes One of the Largest Shareholders of Playtech

The 680-pence-a-share offer which Aristocrat Leisure made for the assets of the gambling software provider in October saw the company’s share value surge last month.

However, a series of irrevocable undertakings from Playtech investors to accept the bid would become invalid in case another suitor appeared and make an offer that is at least 10% higher than the one made by the Australian gambling company. This means that Gopher Investments would have to make an offer of no less than 748-pence-a-share to make sure it surpasses Aristocrat Leisure’s offer and secures a recommendation from the board of Playtech.

Gopher Investments has managed to become one of the most prominent shareholders of Playtech since the beginning of the year. So, the company made a preliminary approach for the Isle of Man-based gambling software supplier on October 21st and sought access to certain due diligence information so that it is able to explore terms for a potential takeover offer. The acquisition offer that Aristocrat Leisure made for Playtech is conditional on the sale of the company’s financial trading arm, Finalto, to Gopher being finalised.

For the time being, it is yet unknown how Gopher Investments would structure a takeover offer for Playtech, considering the fact that the Finalto transaction has not yet been completed.

According to rumours, a possible counterbid could be made, considering the significant volumes of Playtech stock that has been recently traded. Also, there have been some major corporate deals in the global gambling sector since the beginning of the year, so a takeover bidding war for the world’s largest online gambling and sports betting software provider is would not be a surprise to anyone.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams
Author: Wanda Peters