Aristocrat to expand into online RMG segment via Playtech acquisition

Aristocrat, Playtech acquisition

Australian gaming manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure on Monday informed shareholders it has proposed a A$5 billion ($3.7 billion) cash offer for the full acquisition of PlayTech plc, a move which will allow the supplier to enter the fast-growing online real money gaming segment. 

Playtech is a leading technology provider for the global gambling industry and one of the largest online gambling software providers in the world. 

Aristocrat said it believes the acquisition will accelerate its growth strategy and deliver strategic benefits, including providing material scale in the US$70 billion online RMG (real money games) segment – particularly in North America.

Aristocrat in its investor presentation noted that online RMB has expanded dramatically over the past few years. Online RMG GGR is expected to reach US$80 billion in 2021 and US$112 billion by 2025. 

The company said the acquisition will also enable Aristocrat to deliver medium-term and earnings growth and to meet a “broader range of customer and player needs”. 

Playtech’s Snaitech business will also enable Aristocrat to operate and innovate in multiple European markets, the company added.

Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker said: “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 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.”

“The proposed acquisition continues Aristocrat’s approach of investing in medium to long-term growth and we are extremely excited by the opportunities that this will bring for our shareholders, people, customers, and players,” he continued.

Aristocrat said it expects to fund the acquisition with A$1.1 billion of existing cash, a A$2.8 billion Term Loan B (to be conducted prior to the completion of the acquisition, and a A$1.3 billion equity raising through an underwritten pro-rata accelerated renounceable entitlement offer. 

The acquisition is subject to Playtech’s majority shareholder approval, though Aristocrat noted that Playtech’s board is already unanimously recommending shareholders vote in favor of the deal. 

Felix is the Asia Editor and Events Director of the Asia Gaming Brief. He has over a decade of experience developing conferences for industries including gaming, telecoms, investment, biotechnology, and mining. He has developed some of the most well-known conferences for the Asian gaming industry, most recently being the ASEAN Gaming Summit, the Australasian Gaming Seminars, and the Mekong Gaming Summit. Felix covers gaming technology and innovation and is passionate about developing engaging and eye-catching content for the industry.