Controversial Playtech Founder Calls It Quits

Deanna Hammes - 27-11-2018

Teddy SagiTeddy Sagi, the Israeli businessman and founder of Playtech, has sold out his holdings in the company he began nearly 20 years ago. This is in the wake of US activist investor Jason Ader pressuring the firm to sever ties with its creator.

Wishing Playtech Only the Best

Sagi sold roughly 15.2 million ordinary shares through a Brickington Trading placement, the equivalent of almost 5% of the organisation. With this sale, his involvement with the gambling software development company has come to an end, and the businessman was quoted wishing his brainchild all possible success going forward.

Playtech was founded in 1999, specialising in providing solutions for the iGaming industry. It was floated on the London Stock Exchange shortly thereafter, in 2006, and since then has experienced rapid growth thanks to various acquisitions. It currently employs over 5 000 people, and has offices in 17 countries. Furthermore, with a market cap of roughly £1.4 billion, the firm is a member of the FTSE 250. 

Tough Times for the Company

They’ve recently gone through a bit of a rough patch, however, with share values being slashed in half over the last year, on the back of 2 profit warnings they had to issue. The Israeli still managed to collect a tidy profit, however. At £4.5 per share, he got approximately £68 million from the sale.

Before the flotation, the billionaire owned just over half of the organisation, but he’s been selling it off little by little over the past few years. He said that this was to diversify his business portfolio and to allow him to pursue new endeavours, mainly in the sectors of technology and real estate. These proceeds have been recycled in order to allow for the purchase of Camden Market, in London, and Brack Capital Real Estate, the Dutch developer of shared office space for entrepreneurs and startups, to name just 2.

Pressure from Investors

This news follows shortly after reports were made of Ader, of SpringOwl Asset Management, penning a letter to the board of directors of the gambling technology giant expressing his reservations about the founder’s continued involvement. Mr Ader felt that Sagi’s colourful past has had a negative effect on Playtech and is influencing the company’s aims for expansion in the United States of America. Ader was referencing Sagi’s prison sentence in his homeland while he was in his 20s, when he was convicted on charges of insider trading.