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Playtech Offloads Its Entire Plus500 Stake for $227M

- September 11, 2018 By Riley Wilson -

A total of 11.4 million shares was sold for a price of "1,550 pence per ordinary share".

Playtech will use the money to refinance its existing debt.

The Isle of Man-based online gaming development company Playtech has announced it has sold its entire holding of the ordinary share in the online trading platform Plus500.

According to available information, $228 million earned from this transaction will be used by Playtech to refinance its existing debt.

Selling All of its Shares

The company later revealed the details of the transaction, revealing that a total of 11.4 million shares was sold for a price of “1,550 pence per ordinary share”.

Plus500 is an online platform where retail investors can make bets on financial markets through contracts for differences.

The company also assured its shareholders that this move would not have an impact on the issuance of the interim dividend. Worth around $16 million, its issuance was announced last August.

Playtech’s decision to sell its stake in Plus500 came only a day after the founder of this platform announced they would get rid of 9.4 million shares, or 50% of their total stake. That’s circa 8% of the total shares issued.

Founders Sold Almost Half of Their Stake

Alon Gonen, Gal Haber, Elad Ben-Izhak, Omer Elazari and Shlomi Weizmann earned $187 million in this transaction, which came almost half a year after they sold more than 7 million shares (6% of issued shares), taking home $103.2 million.

Three years ago, Playtech wanted a complete takeover of Plus500 and it was ready to spend nearly $600 million to do so. However, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority blocked the acquisition. The agency later stated it had been worried about ownership of Teddy Sagi’s share, especially since the founder of Playtech had been convicted for a stock fraud.  The controversial Israeli-Cypriot businessman owns 6.3% of the company’s shares.

Playtech has been very busy lately. It has recently completed the acquisition of Italian gaming operator Snaitech, while its Playtech BGT Sports subsidiary signed a new agreement to install service betting terminals in Mexico. In addition to these moves, Playtech launched sports betting operation in Portugal after inking a deal with Sociedade de Apostas Sociais, the country’s online gaming and betting operator.

Playtech has recently announced its semi-annual financial results, revealing a 4% rise ($506 million) in revenue during the first six months of 2018, despite the problems in the Asian market.

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