Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan considers £ 3bn bid for Playtech | Mergers and Acquisitions


Former Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan is part of a consortium that plans to make a £ 3bn bid for Playtech, while the London-listed gambling software provider becomes the center of a potential bidding war.

Playtech’s board of directors last month recommended shareholders accept a £ 2.7 billion takeover offer from Aristocrat, the Australian slots developer, and a competing offer from its second-largest shareholder. Gopher Investments.

JKO Play, the consortium set up by Jordan and Keith O’Loughlin, which previously led the sports betting operations of Nasdaq-listed Scientific Games, has confirmed that it is “evaluating the possibility of making a competing bid for Playtech.” JKO is in talks with U.S. investment firm Centerbridge, among other potential partners, to fund a cash and stock offering for the company.

Playtech confirmed that its board of directors had “received a preliminary approach from JKO Play requesting access to certain due diligence information, in order to explore the terms under which an offer for all issued and to be issued share capital of Playtech could be made “.

Jordan’s role at the helm of JKO Play is just the latest step in a career that has ranged from racing driver and F1 team owner to television expert and entrepreneur.

After winning the Irish Karting Championship in 1971, he went on to race in Formula 3 and Formula 2 throughout the 1970s. After suffering several major accidents, he created his eponymous racing team in 1980 and achieved success. significant in Formula 3 and Formula 3000 before creating a Formula 1 team in 1990.

Drivers who owed Jordan their break include Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, while Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna (his favorite driver) also drove for him.

After selling a struggling Jordanian Grand Prix in 1995, he became an expert on BBC Formula 1 coverage from 2009 to 2015, then switching to Channel 4.

Through his family office, Jordan has invested in a wide range of businesses in recent years, from Celtic football club to gaming company Entain. Earlier this year, he formed JKO Capital to seek investments in gaming and entertainment companies.

In addition to JKO Play’s approach, Playtech is also said to be in talks with Caliente, a gambling company that operates primarily in Mexico, over a potential joint venture through a public merger with an acquisition company in Mexico. special vocation (Spac), according to Sky News, who first pointed out Jordan’s potential move to Playtech.

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Aristocrat said he was moving forward with regulatory approval for his own offer for Playtech, put in place financing facilities and completed a capital increase of A $ 1.3 billion (A $ 700 million). sterling) with “a strong stake from Aristocrat shareholders”. When presenting his annual results on Thursday, Trevor Croker, CEO of Aristocrat, said he had also received irrevocable commitments and letters of intent supporting the takeover of a Playtech investor who accounted for 16.5 % of the shareholding of the company listed in London.

The next step in the potential bidding war will be the UK Takeover Panel announcing a deadline by which JKO Play and Gopher must “clarify their intentions” with respect to Playtech.


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