One of iGaming's most successful developers could change hands in landmark purchase
Historic Australian slot machine manufacturers Aristocrat has made a staggered £2.7 billion offer to buy famed online slot developer Playtech, the company behind iconic no wagering slots such as Age of the Gods and Kingdoms Rise, as well as a whole host of live casino titles.
The Playtech board is unanimously recommending shareholders vote in favour of the deal, which Aristocrat plans to fund with £864m equity raising, alongside new debt and existing cash.
Who is Aristocrat and what do they do?
Formed by Len Ainsworth (of Ainsworth Game Technology) in 1953, Aristocrat initially started out creating and distributing online slot machines to over 200 jurisdictions around the world.
Over the course of the next 68 years, the company began to steadily expand their reach to the point that they were amongst the leading slot game manufacturers on the planet with a large footprint in Las Vegas, the spiritual home of casino gambling.
From the 2010s onwards Aristocrat began focusing on global expansion in other areas, acquiring a number of development studios such as Product Madness, Plarium Global Ltd and Big Fish. The latter two companies already big names in the world of mobile gaming with Plarium creating infamous mobile game Raid: Shadow Legends, notable for its aggressive meme-worthy marketing campaign on YouTube and Twitch.
Despite developing a handful of slot games for the online market their focus has always been on slot machines in brick and mortar casinos around the globe.
"An exciting opportunity in the next stage of growth for Playtech" says CEO Mor Weizer
Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech, said of the transaction: “This transaction marks an exciting opportunity in the next stage of growth for Playtech, and delivers significant benefits to our stakeholders, including our customers, our shareholders and our incredibly talented people.
"This deal has the potential to enhance our distribution, our capacity to build new and deeper relationships with partners, and bolsters our technological capabilities.
“The combination of our two companies builds one of the largest B2B gaming platforms in the world, with the people, infrastructure and expertise to provide our customers with a truly best-in-class offer across all areas of gaming and sports betting.”
Aristocrat looking to seize opportunities in North America
Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker followed this statement with an explanation behind their landmark offer: “The proposed combination would bring together Aristocrat’s world-class gaming content and customer and regulatory relationships with Playtech’s industry-leading global online RMG (real-money gaming) platform (B2B) and European B2C footprint.
“The combined group would offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end solutions for gaming customers around the world, as well as seamless player experiences, underpinned by a shared focus on responsible gameplay and innovation.
“Additionally, the business will be ideally positioned to unlock sustainable shareholder value by seizing opportunities in the fast-growing global online RMG segment as they continue to open up, particularly in North America.”