Teddy Sagi cashes in on Playtech

Sagi sold 45 million Playtech shares for $544 million.

Following the offer for sale by the founders of Plus500 Ltd. (AIM: PLUS), Teddy Sagi, the founder and controlling shareholder in Playtech Cyprus Ltd. (LSE:PTEC), the world's leading developer of software-based platforms for online gaming sites, has followed suit.

Playtech announced today that Sagi, through Brickington Trading Ltd., would sell 45 million Playtech shares at £7.25 per share for £326.3 million ($544.1 million or NIS 1.9 billion). The shares amount to 15.3% of Playtech's share capital. Following the sale, which was closed this morning, Sagi owns 33.6% of the company.

In a notice on Tuesday, Playtech said that Sagi was planning to sell 29.3 million shares. In today's announcement, the company said in view of the "overwhelming demand from existing and new investors," Sagi decided to increase the offer to sell.

Sagi sold the shares after Playtech's share price rose to £8.14 (at Tuesday's close), in line with the market rally and the company's encouraging financial results, giving a company value of £2.4 billion ($4 billion). This makes Playtech the biggest Israeli company traded on the London Stock Exchange in terms of market cap. Playtech has outperformed the FTSE 100, rising 49% in the past 12 months, compared with a 38% rise by the FTSE.

Sagi is one of the richest Israelis in the world. His fortune accumulated at Playtech alone (through the sale of shares, dividends, private companies he has sold it, and his remaining stake) is about $3 billion. This does not include his other businesses, especially his foreign currency trading websites and real estate. His remaining stake in Playtech is worth $1.3 billion.

To his credit, when Playtech's share price fell to a low, Sagi bought shares. In November 2011, when the share was traded at a quarter of its current price, it issued 46.5 million shares in a secondary offering, raising £100 million ($156 million at the prevailing dollar-pound exchange rate). Sagi bought 28.4 million of the shares for £61 million ($95 million). He has now sold the shares he bought two and a half years ago at a profit of 237% (not including dividends).

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 5, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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