Australian slot machine supplier Aristocrat says it will push forward with its planned acquisition of Playtech plc despite the UK online platform provider receiving a rival takeover offer from one if its largest individual shareholders.
Playtech announced overnight that it has received a request from Gopher Investments – which holds a 4.97% stake in the company – to view certain due diligence information, with speculation rife that it is planning to submit an offer.
According to news reports, Gopher’s offer could be as much as £3 billion (US$4 billion), trumping the reported AU$3.9 billion (US$2.9 billion) bid announced by Aristocrat in October.
In a statement issued through the ASX on Monday morning, Aristocrat said it was aware of Gopher’s interest but “will continue to work with Playtech to progress the recommended acquisition and urges Playtech shareholders to vote in favor of the Aristocrat recommended acquisition at the shareholder meetings once the Scheme Document has been published.”
Aristocrat clarified that its offer values Playtech at £2.1 billion (US$2.9 billion) on a fully diluted basis and £2.7 billion (US$3.7 billion) on an enterprise value basis.
The Australian gaming giant has already raised AU$895 million (US$673 million) towards its proposed acquisition via an institutional entitlement offer and is midway through a retail entitlement offer expected to raise an additional AU$405 million (US$304 million).