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Motor racing tycoon Eddie Jordan given more time in Playtech bid

Former Formula One tycoon Eddie Jordan has been given more time to bid for Playtech as the battle for the gambling technology group intensifies.

The 73-year-old Irishman is part of the JKO Play consortium that approached London-listed Playtech in November about a possible deal.

By then, Playtech had already agreed to a 680p-a-share takeover offer from Australian gaming firm Aristocrat that valued it at £2.1billion. The deal was due to be rubber stamped at the court and shareholder meetings on January 12.

Former Formula One tycoon Eddie Jordan is part of the JKO Play consortium that approached London-listed Playtech in November about a possible deal

Former Formula One tycoon Eddie Jordan is part of the JKO Play consortium that approached London-listed Playtech in November about a possible deal

But Playtech said talks with Jordan and his team are ‘progressing’ and postponed those meetings until February 2.

It said JKO ‘must clarify its intentions’ by this date and added: ‘There remains no certainty that JKO’s approach will result in an offer for the company.’ Playtech said the board still backed Aristocrat’s bid.

Aristocrat said it was committed to completing the acquisition ‘as quickly as possible’.

Playtech shares fell 0.3 per cent, or 2p, to 729.5p but remain well above the 680p offer from Aristocrat as investors bet a higher bid will emerge – either from the Australians to sweeten their deal, JKO or a rival.

A group of Asian investors, understood to include billionaire heiress Karen Lo, Birmingham City FC owner Paul Suen and professional poker player Stanley Choi, are thought to have built a stake of more than 20 per cent in Playtech, although their intentions are unclear.

Playtech and Aristocrat have written to the Takeover Panel and asked them to establish whether these shareholders are acting together.

Playtech, which develops software for online casinos and betting websites, was founded in 1999 by Israeli tech and property billionaire Teddy Sagi.

It is considered by some to be a hidden gem inside the UK’s gambling sector, with giants including William Hill and Bet365 among its cust- omer base.

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