(Bloomberg) -- Abrdn Plc, a top 20 shareholder in gambling software provider Playtech Plc, plans to vote in favor of a 2.1 billion-pound ($2.8 billion) takeover offer by Australian slot-machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd.
Aristocrat’s agreed bid of 680 pence per share “represents a fair assessment of value and certainty of cash,” Wes McCoy, an Abrdn investment director, said Thursday in emailed comments to Bloomberg News. Abrdn has a 2.4% stake in Playtech.
Event-driven fund manager TIG Advisors LLC has also indicated it plans to vote for the takeover, people familiar with the matter said. TIG holds 1.4% of Playtech, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
TIG, known for its bets on deal targets, is supporting the takeover even though it bought a portion of its stake at well above Aristocrat’s bid. It paid 755 pence per share for some of its holding in December, according to regulatory filings. A representative for TIG didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The backing comes with Playtech’s shares under pressure over fears the deal might fail. The company said this month that a number of investors, including some that have taken material positions in the company since Aristocrat’s approach, have not “engaged meaningfully” about their views on the deal.
Playtech’s shares traded as high as 775 pence in November on hopes of a bidding war. They fell back after a group headed by former F1 boss Eddie Jordan dropped plans earlier this month for a rival offer. The stock closed at 613.5 pence in London on Thursday, giving the company a market value of 1.9 billion pounds.
The interest around Playtech is part of a global deal frenzy in the gambling market which has seen Flutter Entertainment Plc and Entain Plc involved in substantial transactions. The activity was kicked off by a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a law that barred commercial sports betting in most states.
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