Italian firm Snai has cancelled plans to buy rival Cogetech after the government handed down heavy fines to both. They had agreed to buy 96% of the parent company Cogemat for €140m and it would have been ratified at ordinary and extraordinary shareholder meetings on 28 and 29th February. Corte dei Conti, the government audit department, put pay to this by handing down huge fines to a total of 10 operators. Snai’s fine amounted to €210m with Cogetech liable for €255m after they were found guilty of not connecting VLTs to a national network set up by AAMS. If an appeal is successful a rehashing of the deal is possible “should the necessary conditions appear” according to Snai.
Spread betting specialists WorldSpreads rang the doom-and-gloom bell as they predicted tough times ahead. A trading update ahead of its full year results suggest the firm is heading to the dogs. A statement read: “The Board now anticipates that the Group will report a loss for the full financial year. The Board believes that the Group has recently been experiencing an unusual pattern of client trading and fully expects a more normal trend to prevail in future. The Group maintains a strong balance sheet with net cash of €7.0 million as at 31 January 2012.”
In an unrelated matter the company’s director and CFO Niall O’Kelly tendered his resignation to the board. O’Kelly’s tenure comes to an end in 12 months time after he spent eight years with the firm. Following all this commotion the firm’s shares were rocked by an 18% drop in value this morning. Better hope those results start to show some improvement!