Plus500 shareholders to vote on Playtech deal on July 16, 2015

Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS), the CFD broker, has just published an update regarding the pending Special General Meeting, scheduled for July 16, 2015. Shareholders will be invited to vote on the proposed acquisition of Plus500’s issued share capital by Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC).

On June 1, 2015, the two companies reached an agreement that recommends a bid of 400p (in cash) per share of Plus500.

Odey Asset Management, the biggest individual shareholder in the broker, is opposing the bid, calling it opportunistic and undervaluing the company. It is likely that at the coming meeting Odey, which owns more than 25% in Plus500, will turn down Playtech’s proposal.

The board of Plus500 continues to back the offer, however. Alastair Gordon, Chairman, reiterated the support of Plus500 for Playtech’s offer today:

“The Plus500 board believes that the merger proposal is fair to and in the best interests of Plus500 and its shareholders as a whole and recommends that shareholders vote “for” the merger proposal.”

It will be interesting to see whether Odey, with its 25% stake, or Plus500′ founders (who together own about 36% of Plus500 share capital) will manage to defend their position at the coming meeting. The proposal needs a simple majority, that is, more than 50% of the votes, to get approved.

In the end, it will be the minority shareholders who will decide whether the proposed merger goes ahead or not.

Of course, as with any M&A deal, anything may happen… Odey is obviously looking for more and we are curious to see whether it will get Playtech to bid more.

If the deal is approved:

  • Plus500 will merge with Socialdrive, an Israeli company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brighttech, both of which are subsidiaries of Playtech. In effect, Plus500 will become a subsidiary of Playtech.
  • Brighttech, as the sole shareholder of Plus500 following the merger, is expected to apply to cancel admission of Plus500 shares to trading on AIM to take effect as soon as possible thereafter.

To view the official filing with the London Stock Exchange, click here.

To view the announcement to shareholders about the meeting, click here.

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