Maariv seeks investment from online gaming billionaire

Maariv CEO Ofer Nimrodi has been holding talks with Teddy Sagi.

Will Teddy Sagi save Ma'ariv Holdings (TASE: MARV)"? Sources inform "Globes" that Ofer Nimrodi, publisher of Hebrew daily "Maariv", has had several meetings recently with the businessman who made his fortune in the online gaming business, and has tried to persuade him to invest in the newspaper. The talks continue.

Sagi, 37, returned to the headlines after the successful flotation of Playtech. In the past, he was involved in the discounters affair in 1994. He was convicted, and sentenced to nine months in prison and a fine. A few years later, Sagi set up Playtech , which develops software platforms for gaming websites.

Sagi, one of the wealthiest of Israelis, has a net worth estimated in the billions of shekels. Four years ago, he floated Playtech at a value of $960 million. Sagi, who lives in Britain, is reportedly taking steps to return to Israel, a move that would make it easier for Nimrodi to bring him into Maariv. Nimrodi is currently supporting legislation that would prevent foreign citizens from owning Israeli newspapers.

Maariv said in response that, "Should the need arise, an announcement will be made to the stock market."

The company did announce to the stock market today that Nimrodi would forego 75% of his NIS 85,000 monthly salary until June.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 24, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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