Israel's young billionaire

Not yet 40, Teddy Sagi has lots of cash to invest.

Teddy Sagi is not yet 40 and he is already one of the richest Israelis in the world. According to a "Globes" investigation he is worth $1.5 billion, and the source of his wealth is online gaming company Playtech Cyprus Ltd. (AIM:PTEC), which is traded on London's Aim and has a market cap of $1.7 billion.

Playtech, which develops software platforms for online gambling websites, is considered one of the world's leading companies in this sector, and is one of the few that has survived the closure of the US market to this industry.

Sagi founded Playtech a decade ago and believed so deeply in the company and its technology and market that he bought his partner's shares before its big breakthrough. So when Playtech had a successful IPO almost of the the company's shares were owned by Sagi.

A substantial part of his fortune (at least $500,000) is liquid - a result of sales options included in the IPO and the acquisition of assets he owned and which Playtech executed itself.

Sagi was born in North Tel Aviv. An only child of Ami, a businessman and Lizi, a cosmetician, Sagi has in recent years branched out well beyond online gambling.

His high liquidity, and a strategic decision to start investing in Israel (he spent most of his time in the past decade in London and Cyprus), and prepare for his return to Israel, have resulted in major investments in real estate and hotels.

Sagi recently acquired two floors of Tel Aviv's Platinum Tower. He also has a chain of about 20 three and four star hotels in Germany.

Sagi also owns two websites for online foreign currency transactions.

Sagi is considered a cautious businessman who is sharp, knows how to make money and negotiates over every cent in any deal.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 17, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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