Tuesday June 9,2015 : MAJOR SHAREHOLDER IN PLUS500 OPPOSES PLAYTECH BID (Update)
Opportunistic and exploits current regulatory issues and risks
Playtech’s acquisition agreement with spread betting firm Plus500 has been lambasted by Plus500’s largest shareholder who is reportedly set to oppose the bid saying its opportunistic and exploits current regulatory issues and risks.
Playtech’s bid came just two days after UK regulator denounced Plus500’s anti-money laundering checks requiring the firm to freeze UK customer accounts. Plus500’s share price plunged on the back of the crisis.
25 percent share holder, hedge fund Odey Asset Management criticised Playtech’s bid of GBP 459.6 million saying it halves the GBP 862 million value of the company prior to the crisis, the basis for its planned rejection of the offer.
"We understand that this cash acquisition may make sense for Plus500's management and staff, whom we expect could be further incentivised by Playtech after the acquisition has completed,” Crispin Odey, founding partner of Odey Asset Management told Business Insider. “However, for independent shareholders we believe the current offer represents too great a discount compared to intrinsic valuation as a standalone entity."
However, under Israeli takeover law, only 50.1 percent of shareholders are required to consent to the deal reports Business Insider. With 35 percent of company stock already held by Plus500's management, it’s not inconceivable that the deal will progress despite Odey’s rejection.