UK's Playtech expands online trading with Ava Trade buy

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2015 10:22 AM

(Reuters) - Playtech Plc, founded by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, said it had agreed to buy currency trading platform Ava Trade for $105 million to expand its online trading platform.

Millions in losses from the sudden removal of a long-held ceiling on the Swiss franc in January have spurred on a merger and acquisition boom that many major players in the market in online currency trading had long predicted.

Playtech, which provides software used in sports betting and online casino games, is aiming to carve a niche in currency trading using its technology, as the gambling industry comes under pressure from higher taxes and tougher regulation.

The company said on Wednesday the acquisition was undertaken through its subsidiary, TradeFX, which it acquired in April.

TradeFX is a trading platform and payment services provider, while Ava Trade is a contract-for-difference (CFD) broker.

CFDs allow a buyer to trade on movements in a market price without actually owning the underlying asset.

Playtech also said it had agreed for a 200 million euro ($221 million) unsecured revolving credit facility with Barclays Bank Plc [BARCR.UL] and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc to fund its recently announced acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Isle of Man-based Playtech also bought Plus500 for 460 million pounds.

Canaccord Genuity is the financial adviser to Playtech for the Ava Trade deal.

Playtech's shares were up 1.4 percent at 829.5 pence at 1400 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Roshni Menon and Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)