SpringOwl backs Aristocrat’s proposed $3.7bn Playtech acquisition

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SpringOwl, the investment fund of activist gambling investor Jason Ader, has outlined its support for Aristocrat’s proposed $3.7bn takeover of Playtech Plc announced yesterday. 

Playtech confirmed that it had approved Aristocrat’s 680 pence per share (58% premium) offer to be recommended to investors of the FTSE250 technology group.

SpringOwl is listed amongst Playtech’s private investors that will vote on whether to proceed with Aristocrat’s recommended offer.  

Responding to developments, SpringOwl CEO and Founder Jason Ader stated that Aristocrat’s approach represented the best long-term outcome for Playtech and its strategic options.  

“This deal represents a compelling alignment of strategic interests and validates our long-held view of the value of Playtech,” detailed a statement published by the CEO.

Ader’s initial investment in Playtech was undertaken during a turbulent 2018, as the group’s share price nosedived by 50% due to overexposure in restricted Asian markets that saw Playtech lose its billing as the ‘FTSE100 most valued technology group’.

Critical of Playtech’s diversification strategy, Ader demanded that Playtech reform its leadership and return to gambling focusing the company on US growth opportunities.  

Following a number of clashes with the board, Ader approved the appointment of 888 Holdings outgoing chairman Brian Mattingley to succeed Alan Jackson as Playtech’s new boardroom steward.  

“This would be a significant victory for Brian Mattingley in his short tenure as Chairman and we congratulate him on his efforts to address our concerns as long-term shareholders and put the company in a position to unlock value and attract investment into Playtech,” he said.