The war of words (and for the minds and votes of Playtech shareholders) between Playtech and Gopher Investments is continuing.
After Gopher Investments – controlled by Hong Kong based Jonathan Bond’s TT Bond Partners – sent out a strongly worded letter yesterday encouraging Playtech shareholders to vote “No” on August 18 to the sale of Finalto and Markets.com to an (admittedly) inferior bid from Israeli businessman Zvika Barinboim, Playtech has now responded with its own brief statement.
The Playtech statement (see full text below) reiterates that it continues to recommend the Barinboim offer, and not Gopher’s, as the Gopher bid is “uncertain in terms of its deliverability”, principally because it remains not binding and subject to a number of conditions. Also, Gopher has yet to provide Playtech with information regarding its ultimate ownership and funding structure, source of funds, and ability to obtain the required regulatory clearances – all necessary in evaluating whether or not Gopher would be able to acquire regulated/licensed businesses like Finalto and Markets.com.
Playtech also refuted Gopher’s claim “other potential acquiring parties” have shown interest in acquiring Finalto since an original vote was cancelled on July 15. Playtech confirmed that it is not aware of having received any such interest.
The full text of the statement issued today by Playtech follows:
Response to Gopher press release of 3 August 2021
04 August 2021
As previously announced and as set out in the Supplementary Circular published by Playtech plc (“Playtech” or the “Company”) on 2 August 2021, the Board’s stated strategy remains to simplify Playtech’s business and to dispose of Finalto for the maximum available proceeds.
Following receipt of the indicative proposal from Gopher Investments (“Gopher”) to acquire Finalto, Playtech has, with the consent of the Consortium, raised some questions with Gopher to assess its ultimate ownership and funding structure, source of funds and ability to obtain the required regulatory clearances as part of basic initial due diligence it requires in order to assess Gopher’s proposal.
Playtech does not recognise Gopher’s characterisation of the chain of events to which it refers in its press release of 3 August 2021. If Gopher is willing to provide the requested information, Playtech would welcome Gopher doing so.
As previously stated, the proposal received from Gopher is uncertain in terms of its deliverability, principally because it remains not binding in nature and subject to a number of conditions. Accordingly, the Board is currently not in a position to change its recommendation to Shareholders in respect of the Disposal and the Resolution as set out in the Original Circular.
Playtech also notes Gopher’s statement in its press release of 3 August 2021 that “…Gopher understands that Playtech may have received interest in Finalto from other potential acquiring parties since the date of adjournment“. Playtech confirms it is not aware of having received any such interest.