Playtech Attempted to Acquire 888 Holdings for 886 Million Dollars
Posted on December 15, 2023 | 9:16 am
Playtech, the global supplier of technology, content and live dealer games for online casinos, reportedly made an offer worth over 886 million dollars to acquire 888 Holdings, the company that operates the famous 888 casino.
The information was revealed in a Sunday Times report, which announced that the attempted takeover took place in July, when Playtech made the approach at a price of 156 pence per share for a total bid of 700 million British Pounds. The offer was declined.
888 Holdings owns and operates 888 casino and also William Hill, the major international sportsbook and online casino. The acquisition of William Hill took place in July 2022, one year after 888 Holdings registered a record-high stock price.
However, despite the acquisition of William Hill, 888 Holdings recorded a decline in revenues in 2023, with the third quarter registering a drop of 10 percent in revenue compared to the same quarter of 2022.
The company also faced uncertainty at the top of its management as Itai Pazner, the Chief Executive Officer, left his job in January 2023 following anti-money laundering failings registered in the company’s operations in the Middle East.
The details of the failed attempt to acquire 888 Holdings reached the public following a deferred prosecution agreement regarding accusations of bribery of a Turkish operation owned by Entain, another global gaming giant. Kenny Alexander, who was the Chief Executive Officer of that operation, is now a major shareholder of 888 Holdings.
Since the company declined the offer its shares have continued to lose value, placing the board of directors under increasing pressure. Meanwhile, 888 Holdings is also holding discussions with DraftKings, a major North American sports betting company, regarding a possible merger between the two companies.
Playtech has faced a takeover bid of its own in 2021, when Aristocrat, the Australian manufacturer of casino games, tried to purchase the company for 2.1 billion British Pounds. The offer was eventually declined as only 56 percent of Playtech’s shareholders voted to approve the deal, with at least 75 percent needed in order for the deal to go through.