Playtech Plc has notified investors that it is seeking for English Courts to determine its joint-venture dispute with LatAm business partner Grupo Caliente.
The FTSE250 gambling technology group has served as Caliente’s lead online gambling systems supplier since 2012, a partnership that was expanded to launch the ‘Caliplay Mexico’ joint-venture in 2014.
However, Caliente has disputed whether it maintains an option to redeem an additional services fee as part of its strategic partnership, which Playtech believes to have expired.
According to Playtech, “the option was structured such that the amount payable by Caliplay to Playtech upon exercise would either be agreed between the parties or failing which, determined by an independent investment bank valuing Playtech’s current entitlement to receive the additional services fee until 31 December 2034”.
The services fee is reported to have accumulated to €34.4m during the six months ended 30 June 2022, in which €22m was generated in 2021 – as the business continues to perform strongly.
Playtech cites that Caliente cannot withdraw the service fee, as “the Option is stated as being exercisable for a period of 45 days following the approval of the audited accounts of Caliplay for the year ended 31 December 2021’.
“Playtech believes the Option has expired and referred to its expiry having taken place in its interim report for the six-month period ended 30 June 2022,” – in which the FTSE group reported that it had generated €60m from its Mexican business activities.
Seeking to settle the dispute, Playtech requires English Courts to obtain clarification on a point of disagreement between the parties.
The statement stressed that Caliente has not sought to exercise the option, in which it simply seeks to determine the dispute and whether the option has expired.
Caliplay was deemed a highly valued and fast-growing asset for Playtech, in which it will serve as a future B2C launchpad in upcoming South American online gambling markets.