UBS – Cash rich Playtech may trigger more industry consolidation

 UK newspaper The Evening Standard reports that FTSE 250 gambling software provider Playtech’s cash pile could make see more consolidation in the gambling industry’s services provision, even suggesting that it could make a £500 million acquisition bid for competitors OpenBet and Inspired Gaming.

The newspaper cites UBS Equity Research Director Tal Grant, who states that Playtech governance will be eager to close acquisitions in 2016 having failed to acquire financial trading platforms Plus500 and Ava Trade.
The UBS analysts further notes that Playtech has made little secret of its impending plans to boost up its sports betting services.
At the start of 2015, Playtech governance had outlined entry into the financial trading markets through strategic acquisitions.
However Playtech’s two major acquisitions of Plus500 (£450 million) and Ava Trade (£67 million) failed to materialise due to constant regulatory delays by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Central Bank of Ireland
Playtech are reported to be entering 2016 with £500 million cash excess on its balance sheet.
The technology provider which services platform provisions for tier 1 UK bookmakers Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill may look to further its betting services by acquiring long time competitors OpenBet and Inspired Gaming as the betting industry further consolidates.
Whether such a move would clear the competition restrictions, given that Openbet itself is already a sizeable provider in the gaming space is unclear, although a move for Inspired is unlikley to cause any problems in that area.
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