Aristocrat Completes Stock Sale Offer

Australia-based slot machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd said on Thursday it had completed the retail portion of its recently-announced entitlement offer, raising AUD317 million (US$231.3 million).

The exercise is linked to its AUD3.9-billion cash offer for London-listed Playtech Plc, a leading gaming content provider for the online and land-based casino industries.

The institutional-investor component of the entitlement offer closed on October 20, raising gross proceeds of approximately AUD895 million.

Aristocrat said in its Thursday update that approximately 20,400 eligible retail shareholders elected either partially or fully to take up their retail entitlements, subscribing for approximately 7.6 million new Aristocrat shares, and raising approximately AUD317 million. It represented an aggregate participation rate of approximately 78 percent by value, and approximately 49 percent by number of shareholders. The company said previously it “expected to raise approximately AUD405 million” from the retail part of the entitlement offer.

Aristocrat will now offer for sale – under what is known as a retail shortfall bookbuild – approximately 2.1 million new shares, amounting to approximately AUD90 million at the offer price of AUD41.85 per share.

Aristocrat said previously it expected the acquisition of Playtech to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, “subject to certain antitrust, foreign investment, gaming regulatory and financial regulatory consents and approvals being obtained.”

In a Monday filing to the Australian bourse, Aristocrat had acknowledged that its target Playtech had been approached by Gopher Investments, which has just under 5 percent of Playtech.

Gopher was “seeking access to certain due diligence information, which Playtech has provided in accordance with the U.K. Takeover Code,” said Aristocrat.

“There is no certainty that Gopher’s approach will result in an offer for Playtech, nor as to the terms on which any offer may be made,” stated the Australian slot maker.

On October 17, the boards of Aristocrat and Playtech announced a recommended acquisition of Playtech by Aristocrat for GBP6.80 (US$9.106) in cash for each Playtech share held.