Suitor TTB walks away from potential Playtech bid

A Hong Kong-based financier has walked away from a potential multibillion-pound deal for London’s Playtech.

Finance company TTB said it is no longer interested in making a bid, months after first approaching management.

No bid was made, but it was widely expected to be higher than a £2.7 billion offer rejected by shareholders at the start of the year.

“TTB Partners Limited today confirms that due to challenging underlying market conditions it is not intending to make an offer for Playtech plc,” the company said.

“TTB remains supportive of the board, the executive management team, their strategy for Playtech and the prospects for the business.”

Founded in Estonia and headquartered on the Isle of Man, Playtech has traded on the London Stock Exchange’s main list since 2012.

TTB becomes the latest in a line of companies to walk away after sniffing around Playtech.

Before showing interest in an offer of its own, the financier had advised Gopher Investments on a bid.

Gopher decided to abandon its plans in November.

Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure, a slot machine company, later tabled its own bid.

But despite buy-in from the board, a group of shareholders voted against the deal, defeating it in February.

Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer and former boss Tom Hall, who is currently a Playtech investor, had teamed up with TTB on the deal.

In a joint statement, they said: “It is disappointing that our proposed involvement with the TTB investor group has not evolved into a formal offer for Playtech.

“Challenging global economic and market conditions which were not present in February made it impossible to create the right structure for a new company.”

Both said they think Playtech is undervalued.

Playtech chairman Brian Mattingley said: “This process has shone a spotlight on the fundamental premium value of Playtech’s businesses and the board will continue to consider options to maximise value for all shareholders.

“Playtech is the leading technology company in the gambling industry, with an unrivalled quality and breadth of products.”