Aristocrat's buyout of Britain's Playtech set to fail

FILE PHOTO: Gambling cubes are seen in front of displayed Playtech logo in this illustration taken, November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -Gambling software maker Playtech does not expect its shareholders to approve its proposed takeover by Australia’s Aristocrat, the British company said on Wednesday, adding it was also looking at other deal proposals.

The news sent Playtech shares down nearly 5% to 550 pence in early trading.

Playtech needs approval from 75% of shares voting at its general meeting scheduled later in the day to go ahead with the 2.1 billion pound ($2.84 billion) offer from Aristocrat.

“The emergence of a certain group of shareholders who built a blocking stake while refusing to engage with either ourselves or Playtech materially impacted the prospects for the success of our offer,” Aristocrat Chief Executive Officer Trevor Croker said in a separate statement.

The Australian company said most of the dissenting shareholders took stakes in Playtech after the 680 pence-per-share offer was announced in October.

As the United States opens up to sports betting and potential bidders assess British gambling expertise, Playtech was approached by Hong Kong-based investor Gopher Investment and former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan last year.

($1 = 0.7388 pounds)

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