In the United Kingdom and Gopher Investments has reportedly begun negotiations that could potentially see it pay up to £3 billion ($4.06 billion) in order to purchase online casino games developer Playtech.
According to a report from the Reuters news service, the move from the Hong Kong-headquartered investments vehicle comes only three weeks after Australian gaming machines behemoth Aristocrat Leisure Limited lodged its own offer for the London-listed iGaming innovator thought to be worth in the region of £2.7 billion ($3.7 billion).
An affiliate of TTB Partners Limited and backed by a team with extensive experience in financials and gaming, Gopher Investments reportedly made its preliminary approach for Playtech on October 21 and is now seeking to conduct due diligence before deciding on whether to take this initial interest further. The investor purportedly already holds a 5% stake in the Isle of Man-based online casino games and platform developer courtesy of a September arrangement that is to see it acquire the enterprise’s Finalto financial trading unit for about £184.6 million ($250 million).
Gopher Investments reportedly told Reuters that negotiations with Playtech are at an early stage although the news immediately sent the individual value of shares in the British iGaming pioneer up by 2.4% to approximately £7.34 ($9.94). For its part and local investments specialist Peel Hunt purportedly issued a ‘hold’ recommendation on these interests amid a widespread belief that the latest offer will be superior to the earlier tender submitted by Aristocrat Leisure Limited.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited reportedly reacted to the new interest from Gopher Investments by defending its earlier bid and simultaneously touting its own expertise in the world of gaming. The Sydney-headquartered giant purportedly moreover declared that its ‘long-term engagement with regulators across key gaming jurisdictions’ as well as its ‘strong financial fundamentals’ are certain to give it the ability to complete the purchase of Playtech ‘in the second quarter of calendar year 2022.’
In its report on the matter and British television broadcaster Sky News disclosed that Gopher Investments is thought to be preparing its Playtech bid in partnership with iconic independent financier Rothschild and Company. Teresa Teague is a partner at TTB Partners Limited and she reportedly told this source that her firm already has ‘significant experience’ in investing in technology-driven financial services businesses for markets as diverse as Hong Kong, Pakistan and the United States with the proposed Aristocrat Leisure Limited takeover offer remaining contingent upon the Finalto purchase.
Teague reportedly told the broadcaster…
“As a major shareholder in Playtech, Gopher Investments is pleased to conclude a transaction delivering value for all shareholders and looks forward to working with the Playtech board and continuing its constructive dialogue to support growth.”