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888 rejects £700 million takeover bid, shares soar

888 Holding shares (LSE: 888) closed the day 15% higher, following the company’s firm dismissal of a £700 million takeover proposal by Playtech. Over the weekend, The Sunday Times unveiled that Playtech, a gambling software …

888 Holding shares (LSE: 888) closed the day 15% higher, following the company’s firm dismissal of a £700 million takeover proposal by Playtech.

Over the weekend, The Sunday Times unveiled that Playtech, a gambling software entity based in the Isle of Man, extended a buyout offer to 888 in July at 156 pence per share. However, 888, the FTSE 250 betting operator behind well-known brands like William Hill and Mr Green, deemed this proposition undervalued and chose not to entertain it.

Adding another layer to the narrative, July saw 888 appoint Per Widerstrom as its new Chief Executive Officer. This move came after a period of leadership turbulence, marked by the immediate departure of former CEO Itai Pazner in January. Notably, 888 had also temporarily suspended activities in the Middle East earlier that year, citing a customer compliance investigation.

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Post the announcement, 888 shares surged nearly 20%, although they later stabilised at a slightly lower point. Looking at the broader picture, the stock is 20% down over the past year.

Playtech’s shares also saw a positive start at the London open but concluded the day with marginal change, closing at 419.44.

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