The Business On... Teddy Sagi, founder of Playtech

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The Independent Online

Playing fair?

Depends on who you speak to. Playtech has raised £100m for a deal spree. Which means Teddy Sagi – who underwrote the placing, which was at a discount of only 2.5 per cent to Wednesday's closing price – has a 43.7 per cent stake. He took a third of the new shares, institutions took the rest. But some are concerned about his influence over the company.

A colourful character?

And how. Mr Sagi is one of Israel's 30 richest men and seems to create as many headlines for celebrity writers as he does for business writers, not least because he is reputed to be dating Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli.

Some guys have all the luck

Too true. Mr Sagi, who founded Playtech in 1999 and floated it on AIM in 2006 (it would like to get on to the full list) has taken more than £350m out of the business, partly through selling it other companies he owns. And he's still only in his 30s.

A colourful business too?

Very. Playtech provides software for gaming firms, but in addition to legal battles with former business partners, there's been controversy with some clients. William Hill boss Ralph Topping had to jet out to Tel Aviv after 180 staff walked out on William Hill online, which is a joint venture with Playtech, in the wake of the resignation of chief marketing officer Eyal Sanoff, an associate of Mr Sagi. The relationship between the firms is said to be at breaking point.

So what next?

Who knows? Playtech's got the money and analysts are divided over where it will go next. Some say it's a good bet as an "industry leader"; others question just what sort of company it wants to be.