Playtech confirms Gopher exploring counterbid to Aristocrat takeover


ondon-listed gambling software group Playtech has confirmed Gopher Investments is exploring a bid for the company to rival a £2.7 billion takeover offer from Australian firm Aristocrat Leisure.

Last month Playtech agreed to a takeover by the slot machine developer which valued the FTSE 250 firm at 680p a share.

Sky New reported yesterday that Gopher is being advised by Rothschild in relation to a potential £3 billion offer for Playtech, which has a market cap of around £2.2 billion.

Today Playtech confirmed Gopher had requested and been provided access to due diligence information in order to “explore terms on which a possible offer … might be made”.

The company said: “Discussions with Gopher are at an early stage and ongoing. As such, there can be no certainty that Gopher’s approach will result in an offer for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.”

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Playtech was founded by Israeli tech and property billionaire Teddy Sagi back in 1999. It loated in 2006 and employs more than 6,000 people, and has recently been pursuing US expansion.

When the Aristocrat acquisition was announced last month, Playtech’s shares soared by more than 50%.

Today analysts at Peel Hunt said: “Playtech’s share price has already anticipated an offer higher than Aristocrat’s 680p per share.”

Playtech shares rose by 2.5% by mid-morning on Monday on its update.