LeapRate has learned via filings made to the London Stock Exchange that global investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has sold down its stake in FCA regulated retail forex and CFD broker Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) to below 3%.
Morgan Stanley had been the second or third largest outside shareholder in Plus500 at just under 7%, after UK investment manager Odey Asset Management LLP and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). Odey is still sitting at about a 23% holding in Plus500, and JPMorgan has a 7.5% interest in Plus500.
Morgan Stanley took a 6.8% position in Plus500 at the end of last year, soon after Plus500’s $700 million acquisition by Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) was called off. Plus500’s other large outside shareholders (mainly Odey) opposed the sale to Playtech, at least at the proposed £4-per-share price believing that it was too low.
And it looks like they were right, at least from today’s perspective.
With Plus500 shares now at £6.10 per share – more than 50% above Playtech’s offer price – it looks like Morgan Stanley did fairly well on their six-month investment in Plus500. Assuming that they sold out their entire position (which we don’t know, the filings just indicate that they sold down to below 3%), Morgan Stanley’s profit on the deal should be about £16.4 million (USD $24 million).