In 2016 Playtech, the casino software giant based in the Isle of Man, was heavily engaged in acquisitions. The company spent around €240,000 in different takeover deals, trying to expand its global presence. This has become a common strategy in the cutthroat world of online gambling developers, and Playtech sealed no less than 4 deals in 2016.
Playtech’s Eventful 2016
Playtech’s first acquisition of 2016 was in May, when it bought Swedish game developer Quickspin AB for around €50 million. This was followed in mid-July with Best Gaming Technology, at a price tag of nearly €140 million.
The acquisition of ECM Systems, a Bingo hardware and software solutions provider, came in October and cost an estimated £14.9 million. Playtech’s last 2016 acquisition came at the end of November, when the company purchased a 70% stake in Consolidated Financial Holdings A/S. Plans for it to take over the remaining 30% assets in 2019 were announced at the same time.
The Movements of Teddy Sagi
Teddy Sagi is the founder of Playtech, and the company’s biggest shareholder. In November 2016, he sold out a sizeable portion of his stake. Initially he reduced his holdings from 33.6% to 23.6%, and then in March 2017 he sold another 4% of his stake. This seems to have come as a result of his decision to focus on other investment types, and currently Mr Sagi holds an 18% interest in Playtech.
Playtech’s Development Strategy for 2017
In 2016 many business analysts and casino insiders were predicting a huge wave of consolidation within the global gambling industry for 2017. This could explain Playtech’s rush for acquisitions that year, and is why most people thought this trend would continue into 2017.
For 2017, however, Playtech seems to have adopted a different approach to expanding the company. So far it has been focused on new content releases and new partnership agreements. It’s unclear whether this is a totally new direction from 2016, or if both strategies are part of a larger plan.
With Teddy Sagi selling a lot of his interests in the company, the control and stakeholders within Playtech could become a lot more diversified. Having several different assets, partnerships and shareholders could be the beginning of a very comprehensive business plan on the part of Playtech. What happens next remains to be seen, but the company is being watched with keen interest.