Australia’s Aristocrat Buys Playtech for $3.7 Billion

By Adam Haynes in Laws and Regulation
| October 21, 2021 11:51 am PDT

Slots manufacturing giant Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. has cut a huge deal with Britain’s gambling software developer Playtech Plc, acquiring the company for a cool A$5 billion ($3.7 billion).

Playtech’s value has now surged, with shares topping £6.80 per share in London when news of the acquisition was announced earlier this week.

Here’s what you need to know about the sale of Playtech.

Aristocrat Targeting Further Growth

That rise sported a premium close to 58% of the developers closing price on Oct. 15, per a statement made by Aristocrat.

The Australian company’s latest fund-raising campaign aims to raise A$1.3 billion in share sales to help the takeover.

Stocks will be sold at an 8.6% discount to Friday’s closing price, with buyers keen to get involved enjoying a temporary retail cut. 

Aristocrat’s purchase is behind a plan to bolster the casino machine maker’s presence in the rapidly evolving i-Gaming and sports betting markets. In acquiring Playtech, the company hopes to host one of the largest business-to-business providers in the industry, according to CEO Trevor Croker.

“The combined group would offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end solutions for gaming customers around the world, as well as seamless player experiences, underpinned by a shared focus on responsible gameplay and innovation.”

With the deregulation of legal betting in the United States, companies like Artisocrat are looking to get an early jump on competitors vying for a stake in the market. 

With Playtech part of its arsenal, the Australian giant will surely have a great advantage over others looking to capitalize on more Americans gambling online.

Aristocrat confirmed that it would assess Playtech’s operations in unregulated markets.

China, for example, is looking to crack down on the online gaming habits of its citizens meaning Playtech could be targeted.

Who and What is Playtech?

Playtech is an industry-leading software company that launched its very first casino product in 2001.

Founded in Estonia in 1999, the company blew up in the mid-2000s to attain status as a global leader in the development, design, and licensing of online games.

By March 2006, Playtech floated on the AIM with a valuation of close to $1 Billion but suffered a devastating stock fall of 40% when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was passed.

The history of Playtech is littered with metoric rises and scuppering falls, but the sale to Aristocrat marks one of the biggest success stories in the history of the gambling industry.

Teddy Sagi, the man who founded the company at the turn of the 20th century, is currently worth $5.6 billion according to Forbes.

The Israeli gained $400 million for 12% of the company in 2016, receiving another $88 million in 2018 for his remaining stake.



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