Aristocrat to Buy Playtech in $3.7 Billion Gaming Deal

Mon., October 18, 2021, 3:14 a.m.·2 min read

 

(Bloomberg) — Australian slot-machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. has agreed to buy British gambling software developer Playtech Plc for A$5 billion ($3.7 billion).

The offer values London-listed Playtech at 680 pence ($9.35) per share, a premium of about 58% to the company’s last closing price on Oct. 15, Aristocrat said in a statement Monday. Shares in Playtech rose as much as 57% on Monday to 675 pence.

Aristocrat will raise A$1.3 billion in a share sale to help fund the acquisition, the Sydney-based company said. The stock will be sold at an 8.6% discount to Friday’s closing price.

The deal will add immediate scale to the Australian casino-machines manufacturer in the fast-growing world of online gaming and sports betting, that it estimates was worth $70 billion globally last year. The transaction will create one of the largest business-to-business platform providers in the global gaming industry, Aristocrat said.

“The combined group would offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end solutions for gaming customers around the world, as well as seamless player experiences, underpinned by a shared focus on responsible gameplay and innovation,” Aristocrat Chief Executive Officer Trevor Croker said.

The deal would mark the latest in a long list of tie-ups aimed at staking out an early advantage in online gambling, which was already deregulating across the U.S. before new the number of new players exploded during pandemic lockdowns.

Aristocrat expects Playtech’s Italy-based omni-channel gambling operator Snaitech to open up new European markets at the same time as business in North America continues to boom, the company said.

Aristocrat has received letters of intent or irrevocable undertakings in support of the deal from investors that own about 20.7% of Playtech’s outstanding shares, including its largest owner, it said.