When Playtech’s bosses mapped out plans on Wednesday to bolster its financial arm with acquisitions, investors probably did not think they would have to wait only five days for the first deal.
The FTSE 250 company, which specialises in gambling software including for online bingo and poker but has been growing its financial division, has bought Consolidated Financial Holdings, a technology and clearing provider for contract-for-difference brokers, for up to $120 million.
It will initially pay $43 million for 70%. It has the option to buy the whole business after 2018. The total price will be capped at $120 million.
The FCA has approved the deal, which will come as a relief after last year’s agreed takeovers of Plus500 and Ava Trade fell through amid regulatory scrutiny.
UBS analyst Tal Grant today revealed that at the capital markets day last week, management unveiled plans to buy B2B businesses rather than more consumer-facing companies such as its two previous targets.
Investors welcomed the news, sending the shares up 28p, or 3.2%, to 910.5p, valuing Playtech at close to £3 billion.
Equities continued to yo-yo after Donald Trump was elected US President last week, this time in the right direction for the bulls, with the FTSE 100 up 73.25 points to 6803.68.
“Investors appear to like the less-controversial character who has addressed the media since winning,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.
Irish support services group DCC was the best blue-chip performer, surging 475p, or 8%, to 6510p after revealing full-year profits will be better than analysts had pencilled in.
The strong first-half results were accompanied by a deal to buy French gas business Gaz Européen for just shy of £100 million.
Marks & Spencer, up 9p at 336.2p, looked sharper after Citi upgraded to buy, becoming the latest broker to predict a turnaround for the beleaguered retailer’s shares.
Better-than-expected annual results from farming group Carr’s lifted its shares by 3.5p to 142p. Revenues were down 4.2% at £315 million, but pre-tax profits rose 2.8% to £14 million.
Among the small-caps, another discounted share placing to raise £8.35 million left Philippines gold miner Metals Exploration, whose main investors are the Candy brothers, 0.29p cheaper at 5.59p.
Oil minnow Angus Energy shone on its AIM debut, trading up at 6.7p after raising £3.5 million in a float at 6p per share.
The company is the largest stakeholder and operator of the Brockham oilfield, which is next to Horse Hill, better known as the home of the Gatwick Gusher well.
While Horse Hill is years away from production, Brockham is already producing oil.
Courtesy : standard.co.uk