Aristocrat maintains ambitious growth goals following Playtech collapse


Aristocrat Leisure has asserted that it will learn the lessons from its ultimately doomed £2.7bn Playtech pursuit, with the group eyeing a scaled position across real-money gaming in the medium-term.

Speaking at the group’s annual general meeting, Neil Chatfield, Aristocrat chair, stated that the group is “very focused on alternative pathways” to achieving its much detailed global ambitions, including the US online gambling gold rush.

After shareholders of Playtech voted down the Australia-listed gaming manufacturer’s overtures earlier in the month, Chatfield assures that the company’s growth strategy will remain unaltered as a result of the outcome. 

In addition to voicing a goal of accelerating momentum across all core business segments, he stated: “As an organisation we will certainly take forward many benefits from the experience, as we become more ambitious in our growth investments consistent with our increasing scale and capability.”

Taking over the reins, Trevor Croker, managing director and CEO of Aristocrat, elaborated on the firm’s online RMG objectives, which includes a maintained build-out of its in-house capabilities as well as “accelerating a ‘build and buy’ approach”.

“This will see us invest strongly in building out our own online RMG platform infrastructure while also undertaking select M&A, partnerships, and talent acquisitions to accelerate progress wherever appropriate,” he noted.

To this end, Aristocrat has detailed the foundation of a third global operating business, which will sit Aristocrat Gaming and Pixel United and be spearheaded by Mitchell Bowen.

As Bowen transitions into RMG, Hector Fernandez has been named as the successor as CEO of the group’s Aristocrat Gaming division, which deals with land-based products and services.

“Achieving a scaled position in online RMG will be a medium-term effort. It will take sustained investment over a number of years. However, our record shows that Aristocrat knows how to successfully scale businesses,” Croker continued. 

“We will apply a similar mix of effective organic and inorganic investment, and financial and operational rigour to this task, under Mitchell’s leadership and aligned to shareholders’ interests. 

“We have clear advantages in our powerful product portfolio, strong customer and regulator relationships, full financial optionality and strategic rigour. 

“We are excited to be wasting no time in implementing our plans, and initiating investment in the current business. We will provide more detail on our strategy and key priorities at our half year results in May.”

Adding: “The high quality results delivered across our business reflected effective execution of a growth strategy that is proven and powerful. It also highlights our resilience, strong culture and ability to manage an unprecedented level of change and disruption. 

“We have entered the 2022 fiscal year with momentum, and a balance sheet that continues to provide full strategic optionality. Our people are excited to accelerate our strategy and transformation in the period ahead.”