Playtech Calls Off Plus500 Deal on Financial Regulator Concerns

  • Playtech says unable to appease watchdog by Dec. 31 deadline
  • Plus500 planning for `independent future' after failed deal

Playtech Plc, a gambling software provider, terminated a planned acquisition of Plus500 Ltd. because it’s unable to address concerns by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority by a Dec. 31 deadline. The company didn’t specify what the issues were.

Playtech’s board decided over the weekend to end the deal after an update from the regulator on Friday, the Isle of Man-based company said in a statement Monday. Plus500, which operates an online trading platform, is planning for an independent future, the company said in a separate statement. Playtech agreed in June to pay 400 pence a share, or about 459.6 million pounds ($697 million), for Plus500.

Playtech, which also provides gaming software to companies such as Ladbrokes Plc, had initially expected to complete the Plus500 deal in late September. Plus500 said in May its anti-money laundering safeguards had come under scrutiny by regulators and the Financial Conduct Authority was requiring a review of its financial sanction systems.

Playtech said it doesn’t expect to incur any financial penalties in light of the terminated deal. Without the Plus500 deal, Playtech also said it doesn’t expect to grow its financial division as quickly as previously forecast in the near to medium term.

Plus500 dropped 0.7 percent to 356 pence at 9:15 a.m. in London. Playtech slumped 9.5 percent to 770.50, giving the company a market value of 2.5 billion pounds.