May 16, 2018 / 6:46 AM / 8 days ago

Playtech eyes more acquisitions after Snaitech deal

(Reuters) - British gambling technology company Playtech Plc said it is exploring further acquisition opportunities, a month after agreeing to buy a majority stake in Italian betting and gaming firm Snaitech.

Playtech, which makes software that powers thousands of fixed-odds betting terminals across the UK, said in April it agreed to buy a 70.6 percent stake in Snaitech for 291 million euros (255 million pounds) in cash, in a move to source most of its revenue from regulated markets.

“In addition to the Snaitech acquisition, we continue to explore further M&A opportunities with complementary businesses in the B2B Gaming division,” the company said, ahead of its annual general meeting on Wednesday.

For Playtech, the Italian deal comes in the backdrop of sweeping regulatory changes in its UK home market, where lawmakers have hinted at drastic cuts on top stake limits in gambling machines.

The general meeting of Playtech shareholders to approve the acquisition is being held on May 29, and Playtech said it expects to complete the acquisition within the next few months.

Playtech began 2018 with a lag in its gaming division revenue following a crackdown on gambling syndicates in Malaysia, one of its largest Asian markets, the company pointed out in February.

Average daily revenues year-to-date for the B2B Gaming division in Asia were lower from the year earlier, the company said.

Playtech added on Wednesday it is taking steps to “protect its position” in the region.

“Management is confident that achievements in 2017 and in 2018 to date have delivered a strong platform for further strategic and operational progress in 2018,” the company said.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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