Playtech’s founder, Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi, has sold his final 4.8% stake in the business. The founder has slowly been selling his controlling shares in the company piece meal.
Activist shareholder Jason Ader, who had recently shared the opinion that Sagi’s involvement was negative for the company and that it was time for him to move on, welcomed the news.
Sagi sold approximately 15.2 million shares in Playtech through a placement by Brickington Trading. He is the sole beneficiary of Globe Invest, of which Brickington Trading is a subsidiary. Sagi is now officially no longer involved with the iGaming company, and has shared his wishes for its future success. The shares were sold for £4.50, with the transaction totalling £68 million.
The Israeli billionaire has decided to focus on newer ventures, such as real estate and the tech industry. The funds from his shares have been put toward the acquisition of UK Camden Market and Dutch Brack Capital.
Camden market in London is the city’s largest market, and was opened in 1974. Brack Capital develops shared office space for start-up companies in multiple locations.
One of Playtech’s newer investors Jason Ader has been pushing for the company to cut ties with Sagi for some time. His view is that the company’s founder is not good for business. He specifically noted the fact that Sagi had spent time in prison in Israel for insider trading, which would be viewed negatively in the US.
Adler has slowly accumulated 5% of the online gambling company, and has been pressing for other changes too. Specifically, the US investor wants them to move away from other financial business interests and focus purely on gaming. Adler was key in the GVC Holding acquisition of bwin.party.
GVC Holdings owns major sports betting brands such as Ladbrokes, Coral and bwin and online gambling brands such as Casino Las Vegas and MGM International.
Playtech share value has dropped by 50% over the course of 2018, due to two profit warnings. The company attributed the warnings to tough competition and a bad showing in its Asian markets. However, it is still estimated to be worth £1.4 billion, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is an FTSE 250 company.
As one of the largest online gambling software suppliers around the globe they have been rallying to recover, and if past examples are anything to go by, they will continue to thrive.
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