CFD broker Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) has announced that the founders of the Company – Alon Gonen and Gal Haber (pictured above), as well as Elad Ben-Izhak, Omer Elazari and Shlomi Weizmann – have notified the company of their intention to sell in aggregate up to 15.5 million of their Plus500 shares.
The 15.5 million shares represent approximately 13% of the company’s issued share capital. If sold at today’s share price of £7.50, the entire gross sale will yield £116 million, or about USD $150 million.
The Plus500 founding group nearly cashed out a year ago, when plans were announced for rival Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC), which operates the Markets.com brand, to buy Plus500 for $700 million, or £4.00 per share. In retrospect all Plus500 shareholders gained when that deal was turned down by regulators, as the current sale price will be nearly double that level.
Since the Playtech deal was called off, some of the original Plus500 founder group has withdrawn from active management of the company. CEO Gal Haber stepped down in April.
The sale will be effected by way of an accelerated bookbuild to institutional investors and will be launched immediately. Investment banks Berenberg & Co and Liberum Capital are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the share placing. The founders have agreed with Berenberg and Liberum not to sell any further Plus500 shares for a period of at least 90 days after completion of the placing.
The timing for the close of the bookbuild process and the distribution of allocations shall be at the absolute discretion of Berenberg and Liberum. The final number of shares to be placed and the price will be agreed by Berenberg, Liberum and the founders at the close of the bookbuild process, and the results of the placing will be announced as soon as practicable thereafter. The founders reserve the right to sell a greater or lesser number of shares than announced.
Plus500 itself is not a party to the sale, and will not receive any proceeds from the placing.
Assuming all the 15.5 million shares are sold as planned, the founders group will continue to hold in aggregate approximately 22% of the issued share capital of the company.
The company stated that the founders’ intention to sell reflects their desire to diversify their investments and to raise funds for personal reasons.
To see the full Plus500 press release click here.