October 10, 2013

Mystery buyes takes a £37M stake in Ladbrokes

A 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.

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