Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi‘s Playtech Plc acquires retail forex trading company Plus500 for about $670 million, in cash, a price way below its $1.31 billion pre-crisis value.
Israel-based but London-listed Plus500 is a troubled spread betting company that was forced to freeze thousands of accounts in the UK in recent weeks.
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The UK’s financial watchdog ordered it to overhaul its anti-money laundering procedures two weeks ago.
Plus500’s board controls 35% of its shares, but the deal needs to win approval from hedge fund giant Odey Asset Management, where George Soros was one of the original investors, which has been pumping money into Plus500 and now owns 20% of the business.
Chief executive Gal Haber said in a statement: “We are very proud to have built Plus500 in a short time into a significant player in the CFD market. Having been admitted to AIM at a share price of 115p on 24 July 2013 and paid significant dividends during this time, we believe that now is the right time to combine the business with Playtech who can provide additional infrastructure and expertise to add to our core skills in products, technology and marketing.”
Plus500 will make Playtech’s third acquisition of a trading platform.
Earlier this year the gambling company acquired a majority stake in trading platform and payment services provider TradeFX for $224 million.
Last month, Playtech purchased another online Forex company with access to social and digital media, markets.com, for $1.5 Million.