Kick in the teeth: Gopher 'highly disappointed' as Finalto offer rebuked
08/03/2021 | 05:11am EDT
Gopher Investments this morning expressed extreme disappointment in the board of Playtech’s decision to reject its offer for Finalto and recommend a lower offer from a consortium of Israeli investors.
Gopher, which owns a 4.97 per cent stake in online gaming and gambling software provider Playtech, said it was “highly disappointed” in the Playtech board’s decision not to change its recommendation away from the consortium.
London-listed Playtech agreed to sell its Finalto division – which it has long been trying to shed – in May to an Israeli consortium led by Barinboim Group in a $210m deal.
Gopher had subsequently proposed a higher offer of $250m for the financial trading arm of Playtech’s business, but was nevertheless rejected yesterday.
In a statement released this morning, Gopher said it didn’t believe the supplementary circular contained a “full and fair representation” of its interaction with Playtech.
The investment group clarified its version of events and said it “responded promptly to an initial information request from the Board, relating to Gopher’s financing and its high confidence of regulatory approval.”
According to Gopher, a confidentiality agreement process between the two parties was paused on 26 July after Playtech advised Gopher that it would “very shortly be issuing a supplementary circular.”
And so Playtech’s decision to go ahead and recommend the consortium’s original offer yesterday, and announce that the AGM to approve Finalto’s sale will go ahead on 18 August, came as a kick in the teeth for Gopher.
The consortium, however, were quick to welcome the news and issued a statement that said: “Shareholders should ask why Gopher continues to hide and should also be suspicious of Gopher’s credibility, particularly given that disclosure is crucial when buying a highly regulated business.”
The consortium led by Barinboim and backed by Leumi Partners Ltd. and Menora Mivtachim Group said its $210 binding agreement for Finalto “offers considerable value and certainty” and puts an end to the “arduous 18-month sale process”.
Shares in Playtech were up 2.40 pence, or 0.65 per on Tuesday morning on the news.