Mystery Buyer Takes a £37m Stake in Ladbrokes

mystery-buyer-takes-a-37m-stake-in-ladbrokesA mystery buyer has taken a £37m stake in the UK bookmaker Ladbrokes, prompting the share price to jump to 188.80p, as speculation over a potential bid escalates.

Intriguing gambling news from the Telegraph as they report that a mystery buyer – thought to be the Playtech founder Teddy Sagi – has acquired a near 3% stake in the UK bookmaker Ladbrokes.

Shares jumped 10.8 when the purchase was made on Wednesday to 179.8p after a buyer spent £37.1m on 21.8m shares at 170p, and that continues to rise with the price pegged at 188.80p at the time of writing.

The deal – which was made through Shore Capital – was just below the 3% disclosure limit, but the Telegraph report that an informed source reliably confirms that the mystery buyer is Teddy Sagi.

Sagi is no stranger to the Ladbrokes team. It’s his company, Playtech, that Lads are pinning all their hopes on for a return to form that will see the digital division over turn an operating profit that is currently looking likely to fall £17.5m lower than anticipated.

It seems a sound move for Sagi as he seemingly has his fate in his own hands, and should his company fail to make the digital division shine then he can also benefit should anyone – like CVC for example – come in with a bid.

The news comes just a day after we reported changes in the Ladbrokes board with David Martin coming in from Arriva to replace John Jarvis as a non-executive director.

Playtech Director Roger Withers Resigns

It’s not just Lads that are having a board shuffle, with the gaming software development company announcing the resignation of the Playtech Director Roger Withers.

Coming in to bolster up the defense are Hilary Stewart-Jones and Alan Jackson. Stewart-Jones will come in as a non-executive director and will chair the boards risk compliance committee and remuneration committee, and brings with her experience in gaming law.

Alan Jackson has been appointed a non-executive chairman with immediate effect. Jackson has been a member of the Playtech board since 2006, and is currently the chairman of the Restaurant Group Plc. and deputy chairman and senior non-executive director of Redrow Plc.

Withers will remain with the company as an adviser on industry matters until the end of Sep 14.