Playtech pulls out of $700m Plus500 acquisition

Teddy Sagi

Teddy Sagi's online gambling platform company said the deal is unlikely to obtain the approval of the UK regulator.

Online gambling platform company Playtech Cyprus Ltd. (LSE:PTEC), controlled by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, has withdrawn its $709 million bid to acquire Haifa-based forex trading company Plus500 Ltd. (LSE:PLUSP). Playtech said it is pulling out of the deal because it is unlikely to obtain the approval of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.

Apparently the UK regulator had expressed concerns about Plus500's activities but no specific details have been given.

Playtech has agreed to buy Plus500 last June and to make its binary options activities its financial trading arm. Playtech made the acquisition after the UK regulator had criticized Plus500 for not thoroughly investigating the identities of those using its platform and thus possibly facilitating money laundering. Playtech continues to hold a 9.9% stake in Plus500.

There is now also speculation that Playtech's $105 million acquisition of Israeli contract-for-difference (CFD) foreign exchange broker Ava Trade, which was announced in July, may also be abandoned due to the same regulatory concerns.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 23, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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