Market Report: Playtech tipped for a new takeover punt at rivals

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Gambling-software firm Playtech could have a tilt at new bid targets after missing out on Plus500 and Ava Trade.

UBS number-cruncher Tal Grant said the FTSE 250 group, which gave up on buying the two financial trading platforms after concerns from regulators, has made no secret of its plans to beef up its sports business.

The analyst suggests the company could have rivals OpenBet and Inspired Gaming — both reportedly up for sale for £500 million — in its sights.

Grant said: “While a £500 million price tag is hardly ‘bolt-on’, we note that, with the Plus500 deal now out of the picture, Playtech has excess cash (around £500 million) on the balance sheet.” 

He also points out that Shay Segev, Playtech’s former chief operating officer, has joined GVC from Coral ahead of the merger with Bwin.Party, which could help it win contracts with the pair.

Punters had a flutter, lifting the shares 8.5p to 817p. 

The FTSE 100 put on 29.04 points to 6385.13, with the banks leading the charge after they passed the Bank of England’s stress tests.

The slippery slope continued for Morrisons, 1.8p off at 150.7p, with relegation from the top flight secured by the struggling supermarket group.

The City stubbed out British American Tobacco’s rally as it fell 8p to 3860p after a BBC Panorama investigation alleged it bribed government officials in East Africa.

Petra Diamonds sparkled after it struck a deal to buy a 49.9% stake in the legendary Kimberley mine in South Africa from De Beers, but the 7.03p rise to 71.18p is not enough to prevent it from being relegated from the FTSE 250 this evening.

Sophos’s former private-equity parent Pentagon dumped 60 million shares in the cyber-security firm for £159 million, taking advantage of a 28% rise since floating in July.

Shares of Sophos, in which the Pentagon retains a 22% stake, dropped 20.2p, or 7%,  to 263.4p.

Newsagents and convenience stores group McColl’s edged up 1.7p to 138.7p. It revealed like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter were down 1.8% on last year, but that was a 0.5% improvement on the third quarter.

On AIM, Private & Commercial Finance, which provides funding for horse boxes and classic cars, rose 1.6p to 23.35p as first-half, pre-tax profits swelled 80% to £1.53 million on turnover of £24.9 million, up from £22 million.

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December 1, 2015 |
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