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Playtech backing out of SPAC deal for Caliente’s unit Caliplay due to weak capital market conditions

UK gambling software provider Playtech announced Friday it had stopped pursuing talks with Caliente Interactive for the Mexican sports betting firm's unit Caliplay to list publicly in the United States via a SPAC deal, citing weak capital market conditions.

Playtech currently receives a fee for the software and services it provides to Caliplay and has an option agreement with parent Caliente to buy 49% of the unit plus a right to buy new shares in the new vehicle, should Caliplay be bought out

The company said it was exploring other alternatives. "Both parties (Playtech and Caliente) also continue to have discussions with the SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) and its associates regarding this alternative opportunity," Playtech stated, as reported by Reuters.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong-based investment and advisory firm TTB Partners abandoned a takeover bid for Playtech, also blaming challenging market conditions, causing its shares to tumble more than 18%.

Playtech had attracted a takeover interest since early this year as companies look to capitalize on a boom in online betting set off by the pandemic. "Challenging global economic and market conditions which were not present in February made it impossible to create the right structure for a new company," Playtech Chief Executive Mor Weizer and former CEO and current investor Tom Hall said in a joint statement last month.

Both Weizer and Hall had approached TTB Partners with their interest in participating in the investor group in February. However, several deals have fallen through this year as investor sentiment soured due to raging inflation and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict that has created several supply chain strains and squeezed spending.


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