Playtech, whichshould benefit from the larger footprint of the merged entity,has taken a 9.7 percent stake in Ladbrokes.
Aug 27 Playtech Plc, the online gamingand betting software provider founded by Israeli billionaireTeddy Sagi, is still hungry for acquisitions even after havingspent over $1 billion this year on its foray into forex trading.
Playtech’s stock was down 1.8 percent at 875 pence at 1123GMT on the London Stock Exchange. By Esha Vaish
Isle of Man-based Playtech has made three acquisition withthe aim of carving a niche in currency trading, while thegambling industry consolidates to combat higher taxes andtougher regulation in Britain.
CFD, or contract-for-difference, trading allow a buyer totrade without actually owning the underlying asset.
Playtech earlier this year put skin in the forex tradingmarket, where the sudden removal of a long-held ceiling on theSwiss franc in January has spurred M&A activity.
It funded the first two deals with cash and secured a 200million euro revolving credit facility at the time of the third.Its has since then secured an additional 40 million eurounsecured facility to fund growth initiatives.
“I think given the size and position of Playtech, we canafford to do larger acquisitions,” said Weizer, who has ledPlaytech for more than eight years.
Ladbrokes, on announcing its merger, bought out partnerPlaytech from a digital marketing service deal. ($1 = 0.6460 pounds) ($1 = 0.8856 euros) (Editing by Anupama Dwivedi and Savio D’Souza)
He declined name possible targets or a price or even whenthe company would make an acquisition.
The company bought a majority stake in TradeFx and thenstrengthened its hand by then snapping up Plus500 Ltd and Ava Trade.
“We definitely intend to continue considering certainadditional M&A opportunities going forward, for both gaming andonline CFD trading,” Chief Executive Mor Weizer told Reuters.
“We definitely see a further opportunity for Playtech tofurther extend and support companies in the process of theirmerging,” Weizer said.
Playtech, which has a market value of about 2.9 billionpounds ($4.3 billion), had cash and cash equivalents of 780.3million euros ($881 million) as of June end.
Betfair Group Plc and Irish rival Paddy Power Plc, both licensees of Playtech, on Wednesday agreed to a 5billion pound merger, to stake a claim to leadership ofBritain’s online gambling market.
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Playtech said the deal would boost its prospects as the 2.3billion pound wager by its customer Ladbrokes to combinewith bookmaker Gala Coral had done.. Up to Wednesday’s close, ithas rise 12 percent since its first acquisition in April