Oct 18 (Reuters) - Australia's Aristocrat Leisure (ALL.AX) said on Monday it would buy London-listed gaming software supplier Playtech (PTEC.L) for 2.1 billion pounds ($2.89 billion), offering new growth areas for the gambling machine maker including real money gaming.
Playtech shares soared 57% to a three-year high and were trading 6.5 pence short of the offer price of 680 pence per share. Aristocrat Leisure shares are on a trading halt until Oct. 21.
A shift to online betting amid the pandemic has prompted consolidation in the industry, with UK-based Entain (ENT.L) being approached by U.S. fantasy sports company DraftKings (DKNG.O) last month. read more
Australia-listed Tabcorp Holdings (TAH.AX) also received multiple bids earlier this year for its wagering unit.
"The business will be ideally positioned to unlock sustainable shareholder value by seizing opportunities in the fast-growing global online RMG segment as they continue to open up, particularly in North America," Aristocrat Chief Executive Officer Trevor Croker said.
The Australian company said it would fund the deal with a A$1.3 billion ($964.21 million) equity raising, alongside new debt and existing cash. It expected a boost to earnings from the first year of closing the deal.
($1 = 0.7273 pounds)