Playtech Investor Ader wants DraftKings to Make an Offer

Playtech Investor Ader wants DraftKings to Make an Offer

American sports betting services provider DraftKings should make an offer to acquire European gaming company Playtech, investor and SpringOwl Asset Management chief executive Jason Ader said.

Mr. Ader, who owns a majority stake in casino games developer Playtech, made the suggestion in an interview just a few hours after NASDAQ-listed DraftKings reported a bigger-than-expected operating loss for the April to June quarter. He also suggested that the American sports betting company should make a stock-for-stock deal with the European games developer.

Speaking on the topic, Mr. Ader said, “They should be making a stock-for-stock deal with Playtech. If I were on their board, that’s what I’d be saying.”

The investor’s comments were taken positively by investors who pushed the European gaming company’s US-listed shares up by roughly 18 percent on volume that swelled to 89 times of the daily average.

Founded in Estonia and headquartered in the Isle of Man, Playtech has carved a special niche for itself in the development of gaming software. It develops and supplies software for online casinos, Internet-based poker rooms and online sports wagering. In addition, it develops software for fixed odds arcade games and provides services for scratch games. New York, US-based SpringOwl owns 5% stake in Playtech, which has a market capitalization of around $1.64 billion. As DraftKings recently announced that it has $1.2 billion in cash without any debt, it obviously has the flexibility if it really wants to acquire Playtech.

DraftKings is already known for operating sportsbooks for a number of casino operators. It is offering such services via SBTech, an innovative technology that it bought in the reverse merger that enabled the sportsbook operator to go public. In case DraftKings really acquires Playtech, there could be some overlap between the European gaming firm and SBTech.

According to Ader, acquiring Playtech would add $118.21 million to DraftKings’ annual revenue, further providing a boost to the sportsbook operator’s valuation.

Ader, who formerly served as a member of the Las Vegas Sands’ board of directors for eight years, has earned a reputation for making shrewd deals in the gaming space. A few years ago, he successful led a bidding war for Bwin. Then he played a key role in Flutter Entertainment’s acquisition of The Stars Group. As for DraftKings, the sportsbook operator never loses an opportunity to make potentially lucrative deals.