Breaking: Playtech Acquisition of Plus500 Conditional on FCA Approval by Year End

After the Central Bank of Ireland's hiccup, Playtech faces delays with the FCA that could put the acquisition deal on

Playtech (LON:PTEC) has just issued an announcement updating on its acquisition of Plus500. The company that has openly ventured into financial trading in recent quarters has been awaiting clearance from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to close the deal.

After the publicly traded gaming company announced the acquisitions of AvaTrade and Plus500, it still needs the approval of financial regulators to conclude the deals. Back in October, the Central Bank of Ireland issued a statement that it opposes the deal with AvaTrade. Playtech is currently awaiting a revised decision on the matter and an FCA approval on Plus500.

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Of critical importance, Plus500 issued an announcement detailing that the deal between the companies would be terminated if the acquisition is not completed by December 31, 2015.

The Company has confirmed that if the merger is completed, the cancellation of Plus500’s shares admission to trading on AIM is expected to incur a corresponding delay. The Company will update the market in due course.

Back in September, the company stated that the regulatory approval of the Plus500 deal in the U.K. was taking longer than expected due to the high profile of the deal. At the same time, the company has received clearance from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

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With its announcement, Playtech (LON:PTEC) has stated that it expects a regulatory assessment on the acquisition to be completed by the end of November. Today’s announcement resets the expectation for the conclusion of the deal while raising further questions regarding the reasons behind the delays.

The most likely reason for the FCA to be taking its time with the approval is related to the investigation that it has been conducting on the client on boarding procedures of Plus500. With Playtech (LON:PTEC) disputing the decision of the Central Bank of Ireland, the acquisition spree on which the gaming company has embarked could still continue unscathed.

The terms of the Merger Agreement are such that it may be terminated if the acquisition is not consummated by December 31, 2015.

Playtech has informed Plus500 that the FCA’s regulatory assessment is a confidential process between the FCA and Playtech. Playtech will only announce further details on the conclusion of the process.

Since the acquisition was announced earlier in the year, Plus500 has been managed on an independent, business as usual basis and will continue as such.


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