Jason Ader demands that Playtech refocus on gambling

Renowned activist investor Jason Ader has stated to Playtech Plc governance, that the FTSE250 technology group should refocus on its gambling foundations, over expanding its subsidiary divisions.

During  2018, Ader’s Springowl hedge fund has accumulated a $100 million stake in Playtech Plc, seeking to grow its influence on shareholders and the firm’s board of directors.

Speaking to Reuters International, Ader approved of Playtech’s offload of its 10% stake in CFD trading platform Plus500, securing the company approximately £175 million for its 2015 investment.

Ader did not disclose whether he had any influence on Playtech’s transaction which was confirmed last week.

Springowl is reported to want Playtech governance to divest the technology group’s financial trading and brokerage assets, acquired during the firm’s 2015/16 M&A spree.

Nevertheless, Ader maintains that his hedge fund is ‘not advocating for a fire sale or rushed transactions’.  

Financial services make up approximately 11% of the FTSE firm’s revenues for 2017 trading.

Ader maintains that a refocus on gambling will help the technology group recover its value as the firm’s current share price does not reflect the group’s assets and leading positions within the multiple gambling jurisdictions. 

Playtech Plc’s troubles have been well documented, as the firm recovers from its Asian market declines, which has seen the FTSE enterprise issue two profit-warnings in the space of a year, with the firm’s share price tumbling by almost 50%.

Last May, at Playtech’s annual general meeting, 35% of investors rejected the re-election of Alan Jackson as company Chairman and further declined the firm’s remuneration package for executives and governance.

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