Playtech founder sells stake in the gambling software company

LONDON (Reuters) - Playtech’s founder Teddy Sagi has sold out of the gambling software company he set up 19 years ago by offloading a stake worth around $87 million.

Sagi’s Brickington Trading has offloaded about 15.2 million shares, equivalent to 4.8 percent of the London-listed company, his family office, Globe Invest, said in a statement on Friday.

The stock that the Israeli entrepreneur sold is worth approximately 68 million pounds ($87.2 million) at the current market price of about 450 pence a share, according to Reuters calculations.

It marks the end of Sagi’s involvement in Playtech, which he set up in 1999 and floated on the London stock market in 2006. He has been cutting his stake in recent years and the latest disposal follows a sale earlier this month.

It also comes after both Playtech and Sagi faced pressure from U.S. activist investor SpringOwl Asset Management.

SpringOwl’s founder Jason Ader told Reuters in September that he wanted Playtech to sell its financial services businesses and focus on gaming and said: “I don’t have a sense that the future of this company includes Teddy Sagi.”

Sagi’s exit follows a plunge in Playtech’s shares after the group rattled investors with a profit alert in July, which followed a similar warning in November 2017 that also hit the stock.

The shares have almost halved in price since the start of the year and have tumbled from a peak of 10.16 pounds in June 2017.

Reporting by Ben Martin; Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens