Aristocrat Takeover Shot Down by Playtech Shareholders

Failed bid comes after a cohort revolts against the recommendation of Board of Directors.
It’s finally official: Playtech will not be acquired by Aristocrat.

In the end, shareholders voted even more strongly against the motion than had been previously expected. At a court meeting, the number of votes in favor of the acquisition was 56%, while the number voting against it was 44%.

At a general meeting of shareholders, the divisions fell across similar lines: 55% in favor and 45% against.

A threshold of 75% would have to have been passed in favor of the motion for the merger to go through.

The initial offer for the takeover had been made in October and it appeared likely to take place until doubt was cast on the proceedings last week. It was revealed then that a contingent of Asian investors with enough voting clout to strike down the measure were rumored to not be supportive and were pushing to reject the acquisition.

According to Aristocrat CEO and Managing Director, Trevor Croker, the lead up to the vote saw “the emergence of a certain group of shareholders who built a blocking stake while refusing to engage with either ourselves or Playtech.”

This cohort “materially impacted the prospects for the success of [the] offer, which had been recommended by the Board of Playtech plc.”

Until the end, Playtech’s Board of Directors was encouraging shareholders to vote in favor of the move, advice that was evidently not heeded.

Playtech’s management have commented that the overall health of the company remains strong despite the failed bid.

Source: Gaming America


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