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Playtech Offloads Stake in Trading Firm Plus500

Playtech Offloads Stake in Trading Firm Plus500

The online gambling company bought a 10% stake in London-listed Plus500 in 2015 as part of an attempt to acquire the then-struggling company

Dror Reich | 09:44, 09.09.18
London-listed online gambling company Playtech PLC has sold its 10% stake in London-listed trading firm Plus500, Playtech announced Friday. The company sold 11.4 million ordinary shares at 15.5 pounds per share, making for gross proceeds of around 176 million pounds (around $227.5 million).

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Plus500's stock was down 7.34% on Friday market close, dropping from 16.08 pounds to 14.9 pounds.

Plus500 CEO Asaf Elimelech. Photo: Keren Gafni Plus500 CEO Asaf Elimelech. Photo: Keren Gafni Plus500 CEO Asaf Elimelech. Photo: Keren Gafni

Playtech made a play for Plus500 in June 2015 after the latter's stock crashed by around 50% due to regulatory difficulties in the U.K. Playtech acquired 10% but its acquisition offer for the remaining shares, according to a company valuation of 460 million pounds, was rejected by shareholders who thought the value too low. Today Plus500 has a market capitalization of around 1.69 billion pounds.

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Plus500's current operations are buoyed by the growing popularity of crypto trading. The company reported record revenues of $465.5 million and earnings per share of $2.3 for the first half of 2018. The company's stock rose by almost 70% since the beginning of 2018, as of Friday.

In July, Playtech issued its second profit warning within a year, citing the highly competitive Asian market, and sending its shares to a four-year low. Also in July, the company completed its acquisition of Italian gambling company Snaitech S.p.A.

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