BUSINESS

Teddy Sagi unloads £329m worth of Playtech shares

TAGs: consolidated financial holdings, Mansion, Mansion Group, Playtech, teddy sagi

playtech-sagi-share-salePlaytech founder Teddy Sagi has sold around one-third of his stake in the online gambling technology provider.

On Tuesday, Playtech announced that Sagi’s trading arm Brickington Trading Ltd planned to sell 32.3m Playtech shares, representing 10% of the company’s issued share capital.

On Wednesday, Playtech announced that Brickington had sold 38.7m shares, or 12% of Playtech’s issued share capital. The sale reduces Sagi’s Playtech stake from 33.6% to 21.6%, but he remains the company’s single largest shareholder. The sale marks the first time Sagi (pictured) has unloaded any Playtech shares since selling £212m worth in 2014.

Brickington has promised not to sell any more shares for at least 180 days. Since the sale reduced Brickington’s stake to below 30%, Brickington has surrendered its right to appoint two non-executive directors to Playtech’s board.

The sale went off at 850p per share, about 7% below Tuesday’s closing price of 919p, netting Sagi around £329m. Sagi reportedly sought the extra cash in order to diversify his portfolio, which includes serious chunks of prime real estate in London.

Sagi did a stint in Israeli prison for stock fraud in the 1990s and his checkered past was said to be a contributing factor in the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s refusal to approve Playtech’s proposed £460m acquisition of financial trading firm Plus500 last year. The FCA had reportedly demanded that Sagi sell a significant chunk of his Playtech shares.

CFH ACQUISITION SECURED, MANSION iPADS DELIVERED
In other Playtech news, the company announced Wednesday that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of 70% of international brokerage technology firm Consolidated Financial Holdings (CFH). Playtech said the acquisition would further boost the B2B component of its financial division and it envisions acquiring CFH”s remaining 30% stake by 2019. Playtech expects the total acquisition price to max out at $120m.

Earlier this month, Playtech handed out the first of its new quarterly awards for online gambling licensees, which are intended to reward companies for promoting Playtech products to their customers. The inaugural award went to Gibraltar-licensed Mansion Group, which also received “a gadget hamper” consisting of iPads and other mobile devices.

The next Playtech quarterly award will be doled out in February at the ICE Totally Gaming show in London. At some point next year, Playtech plans to issue an annual award that will allow the lucky recipient one month of exclusivity on a Playtech game plus £50k in marketing funds.

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