UK's Playtech's shares slip after report of potential breakup


FILE PHOTO: Gambling cubes and chips are seen in front of displayed Playtech logo in this illustration taken, November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -Playtech shares fell 4% on Wednesday after the gambling software maker once again backed a buyout by Aristocrat Leisure, following a report that the London-listed company was exploring a breakup if the deal does not go through.

Britain's Playtech in a statement did not address the Sky News report, but said that it continued to endorse the 2.1 billion pound ($2.8 billion) offer from Australia's Aristocrat which is due for shareholder voting on Feb. 2.

While regulatory approvals for the Aristocrat deal are on track, there is uncertainty over whether shareholders would vote in its favour after Playtech indicated investors were wary.

On Jan. 21, Playtech said it was speaking to shareholders about Aristocrat's offer, saying "a number of material investors have not to date engaged meaningfully about their views" on the proposal.

Peel Hunt analysts raised their rating on Playtech on Wednesday, and said a restructuring of the business would lead to a value of over 700 pence per share. Aristocrat has offered 680 pence per share.

Last week, former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan withdrew from making an offer for Playtech after approaching it in November. Other suitors were also once circling the British firm, in what could have become a three-way battle for Playtech.

($1 = 0.7407 pounds)

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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