Initially, Playtech’s board were hoping to move their fin-tech vertical to the Barinboim Group, an Israeli private equity fund. They agreed a US$210 million deal in May (£154.83m/€180.80m).
But shareholders rejected the putative deal in July, leaving the acquisition door ajar for a higher, all-cash bid by Gopher, a Hong Kong-based investment firm.
Playtech insiders concede that their FTSE 250 company, billion-dollar Omni-channel pioneers, founded in Estonia in 1999 and now headquartered in the Isle of Man, has wanted to off-load Finalto for some time because of its relatively poor performance and the firm’s refashioned business strategy of returning to a core playbook.
Although a 4.97 per cent shareholder in Playtech, Gopher had to overcome scepticism from some Playtech board members because of its make-up and possibly deal-breaking links to Chinese investment institutions, it’s been reported.
But Gopher has now satisfied all queries and the sale has been greenlighted, although Playtech must pay Barinboim a compensation fee of US$8.8 million (£6.49m/€7.58m).
Confirmed Playtech Chief Executive Mor Weizer: “We are very pleased to have successfully reached an agreement with Gopher regarding the sale of Finalto. This transaction delivers on our strategy to simplify the group to focus on the high-growth B2B and B2C gambling markets.
“I would like to thank everyone at Finalto for their tremendous contributions to Playtech and wish them every success.
“We are pleased to recommend this transaction to our shareholders, and we remain well placed to capitalise on the exciting market opportunities ahead, driving sustainable growth for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”