The decisive moment for the Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) and Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) deal has arrived and shareholders have just approved the sale of Plus500 to Playtech.
The official final count is not in yet but the vote came out clearly for the deal, as around 60 million shares were cast for the deal while only about 5 million shares were cast against the deal. Additionally, 12 million shares were void and another 11 million shares were related to Playtech and other investors holding the shares of both Playtech and PLUS500.
Plus500 has been reassuring investors that it is still going strong and now that the deal has been approved it is likely to reflect in the stock price. The Plus500 share should presumably reach the same 400p level of the Playtech offer by the time the acquisition is finalized in a few months. This assumes that there will be no more surprises, such as an FCA fine on the firm or anything else like that.
UPDATE: Now It’s Official
Plus500 has just officially announced that the acquisition was approved today at the Special General Meeting of the Plus500 shareholders by an overwhelming majority of 93.4% of the votes cast, representing 71.8% of Plus500’s total voting power.
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Plus500 adds that the completion of the Acquisition remains conditional on satisfying a number of conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and antitrust clearance and the approval of Playtech’s shareholders.
Mor Weizer, Chief Executive Officer of Playtech said: “We are delighted to have secured the support of Plus500’s shareholders. The combination of TradeFX and Plus500 will enable us to apply our market-leading products and services to the enlarged financial trading business as we continue to execute our growth strategy for the Group.”
How It Began
The saga of the Plus500 downfall and takeover started in mid May 2015. Just as the shares of Plus500 were hitting yet another all-time high, an investigation by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into the client on-boarding practices of Plus500 triggered substantial downside pressure on shares of the company.
Within days, the share price fell from 781 pence totaling a market cap of almost £900 million ($1.4 billion) to 198 pence, or just below £230 million ($360 million). Odey Asset Management, founded and partially run by the veteran hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, has actively engaged in buying the dip and started purchasing the company’s shares.
At the same time, Plus500’s management held discussions with Teddy Sagi’s Playtech, contemplating a deal between the companies which would secure shareholders a price of 400 pence per share, valuing the company at £460 million ($720 million). After the announcement of the takeover bid was published, Odey Asset Management, which has gradually increased its share in recent months to 25%, deemed the offer “opportunistic”.