Ladbrokes Online Gambling With Playtech

Published Friday, October 11, 2013 -
Ladbrokes Online Gambling With Playtech

There were rumours circulating a while ago regarding the acquisition of part of Ladbrokes the iconic gambling services operation in the United Kingdom. Now more information has surfaced and the speculation is rampant enough to cause the stock market to react and move the Ladbrokes value.

The Telegraph reported that a mystery buyer widely suggested to be Playtech online gambling software founder Teddy Sagi has acquired a near 3% stake in the bookmaker Ladbrokes. The arrangement which was reportedly made through Shore Capital was just below the 3% disclosure limit. The Telegraph report has said that an informed source reliably confirms that the buyer is indeed Israel’s Teddy Sagi.

Sagi has been involved with the Ladbrokes team for some time. Playtech, is the firm that Ladbrokes has chosen to use to revitalize its online gambling efforts. It hopes that Playtech will provide the needed boost for a flagging operating profit that is currently looking likely to fall £17.5m short of the anticipated projections.

Any stake building would provide a natural hedge for Mr Sagi. He would benefit from the rising shares if Playtech succeeded in turning around Ladbrokes or from a possible bid should it fail said the article in the Telegraph.

The private equity firm CVC also was framed as a possible bidder for the Ladbrokes. The British gambling group Ladbrokes rose 5 percent to 188.80 to top the FTSE 250 gainers list in heavy volume, which traders and analysts attribute to bid speculation surrounding the company. One broker commented, "It might be commercially difficult for Playtech to become an operator in a market where it provides key services to what would then be its competitors."

Ladbrokes was not liked by investors after September’s profit warning by the CEO. There have been some shake ups at the board level at Ladbrokes with David Martin coming in from Arriva to replace John Jarvis as a non-executive director.

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