Playtech extends TTB Partners acquisition bid deadline to 15 July
The Playtech acquisition saga looks set to continue a while longer after the supplier extended the deadline by which TTB Partners must lodge a formal offer.
TTB Partners, a Hong Kong-based investment consortium, was released from Takeover Code rules preventing it from putting in an offer for Playtech on 20 May.
The group was given an original deadline of 5pm today (17 June) to either announce its firm intention to make an offer for the business, or to declare that it does not intend to put in a bid.
However, the supplier announced this morning that it has extended the deadline for TTB to make an offer until 5pm on 15 July, following a request to the UK’s Panel on Takeovers and Mergers from an independent committee formed of Playtech board members.
Playtech said the extension was requested because discussions with TTB are still ongoing, and “progress continues to be made.”
“At present, the Independent Committee believes allowing additional time for discussions to further develop is in the best interests of the company’s shareholders and other stakeholders,” it added.
Following the announcement, Peel Hunt analyst Ivor Jones reiterated an 800p target price for Playtech shares and told investors: “We take today’s announcement of an extension as an encouraging sign that there may yet be an acceptable bid.”
He added: “A takeover is not the only option open to Playtech to release value, and we reiterate our Buy recommendation and 800p target price.”
Peel Hunt: “We take today’s announcement of an extension as an encouraging sign that there may yet be an acceptable bid.”
Earlier this week, Playtech announced it had received all necessary regulatory approvals for the all-cash, $250m sale of its Finalto financial trading division to Gopher Investments.
That deal is now expected to complete on 30 June, with Playtech describing the transaction as a significant step in its strategy to simplify the group and focus on its technology-led gaming offering.
A successful bid from TTB Partners could see current Playtech CEO Mor Weizer and former CEO Tom Hall secure a significant stake in the business, after it was confirmed in February that the pair had approached the investor group to explore the possibility of collaborating on an offer.
Following that revelation, Playtech’s board of directors formed an independent committee excluding Weizer, to consider all matters relating to any possible acquisition offer from TTB.
Playtech said the new bid deadline of 15 July may still be extended further, but only given the consent of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.