Negotiations for Sportech’s Football Pools betting business are proving harder to maintain than dignity at a Golden Globes award ceremony.
Last month, UK interactive television gambling operator NetPlay TV announced it was in talks to acquire the Football Pools business of Liverpool-based gaming operator Sportech PLC. On Monday, NetPlay announced it was no longer pursuing the deal.
In a note posted to its corporate website, NetPlay said that it had terminated discussions with NetPlay after “careful consideration.” In the wake of NetPlay’s December announcement, Sportech announced that its Pools business was being pursued by a number of interested parties, who were invited to submit formal proposals by mid-January. NetPlay said it had “decided not to enter this process.”
Following its December announcement, NetPlay asked London’s AIM market to suspend trading on its shares while the negotiations with Sportech were ongoing. Accordingly, the suspension was lifted on Monday morning and the company’s shares fell nearly 7% to 6.87p. Sportech’s shares also suffered an early drop but finished the day essentially flat at 60p.
Striking an upbeat tone, NetPlay said it continues to operate from a “robust cash position” and will proceed with its strategy of “actively considering all relevant acquisition opportunities and increasing shareholder value.”
NetPlay is the second company in recent months to have flirted with and then withdrawn from an acquisition of Sportech’s Pools business. In November, Canada’s Contagious Gaming walked away from its own negotiations with Sportech despite having declared in August that the acquisition would create a “global leader in regulated pari-mutuel wagering.”