In August, Contagious announced that it was kicking Sportech’s tires and that the acquisition would create a “global leader in regulated pari-mutuel wagering.” But Contagious offered the standard caveat that no formal agreement was in place and there was no guarantee that the two parties would ever seal the deal.
True to form, Contagious issued a release on Friday saying it had decided not to make an offer as the parties were unable to agree on mutually acceptable terms. Sportech issued its own release, saying it hadn’t received an offer “capable of being implemented or recommended.”
The parties certainly gave the deal the old college try, having twice extended the mandatory deadlines for completing the deal, with the last extension coming on Oct. 9 and expiring on Friday. Contagious says it opted not to request a further extension.
Sportech appears to have had its head turned by a rival suitor or suitors. The company’s statement included the claim that it had received “more than one preliminary proposal” for its football pools business and would be reviewing said offer(s) in due course.
Sportech CEO Ian Penrose told the Liverpool Echo that acquisitive interest “reflect the improvements we have put in place” but that the company would only seriously entertain such offers “if the value to our shareholders is appropriate.”
Contagious hasn’t been entirely left at the altar on the acquisition front, having entered into a definitive agreement last month to acquire German sports and race betting software firm Digitote. Contagious says it will pay €4.8m for the software firm, which will come free of any long-term debt and which will be delivered with positive working capital. Contagious first announced its intention to acquire Digitote in May.