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F1’s Jordan Ditches Playtech Bid After Asian Investment

Motorsports tycoon reportedly concerned that a group of Asian investors, including Vitasoy heiress Karen Lo, that recently bought into Playtech, would block the deal

Playtech's share price rose 5% by 1348 GMT after the London-listed company said it was considering other approaches, without elaborating. Photo: Reuters.


Former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan has withdrawn from making a potential offer for the British gambling software maker Playtech after a group of Asian investors bought a stake in the company.

The Irish businessman’s JKO Play consortium, also led by former Scientific Games executive Keith O’Loughlin, does not now plan to make an offer for Playtech, after approaching the company in November. Playtech’s shares fell 14.4% in early trading.

Jordan did not give details on why JKO had pulled out of the running for the gambling software maker. JKO owns 0.51% of Playtech.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday the motorsports tycoon was concerned that a group of Asian investors, including Vitasoy heiress Karen Lo, that recently bought in to Playtech, would block the deal.

The report added that JKO was set to propose an offer of 750 pence per share for Playtech, citing three people involved in the process.

JKO’s approach followed a 2.1 billion pound ($2.86 billion) bid by Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure, whose 680-pence-per-share offer was recommended by Playtech once again on Friday.

Playtech said on Friday it was speaking to shareholders about the Aristocrat offer, saying “a number of material investors have not to date engaged meaningfully about their views on the Aristocrat offer.”



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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