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Israeli Teddy Sagi’s SafeCharge raises $126 million on AIM

SafeCharge is a leading credit card clearing company for the gaming industry.
 Teddy Sagi

Teddy Sagi‘s SafeCharge International Group plc (AIM: SAFE) has held its IPO on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a week after XLMedia plc (AIM: XLM).

SafeCharge’s IPO did not include an offer for sale by shareholders. The company raised a gross £75.8 million ($126 million) at a company value of £242.6 million ($404 million), after money. The company had planned to raise $100 million, but exploited the stock market rally and the AIM’s comeback to raise 25% more, albeit at the same company value.

Trading in SafeCharge’s share will begin on Wednesday, April 2, at a starting price of £1.62. The underwriters are Nomad as the financial adviser and Shore Capital & Corporate Ltd.

SafeCharge is Sagi’s second public company on the British capital market, after Playtech Cyprus Ltd. (LSE:PTEC), one of the world’s leading online platforms for gaming companies, whcih has a current market cap of £1.9 billion ($3.2 billion).

As with Playtech, Sagi (42) is floating SafeCharge, when 97.1% of the company is owned by his Goodfidelity Trust through Northenstar Investments Ltd. Northenstar’s stake will fall to 66.77%, worth $270 million, after the IPO. Other shareholders include SafeCharge founder and CEO David Avgi, with a 2.9% stake, worth $8 million on paper.

Avgi, who so far as is known resides in Bulgaria, where most of SafeCharge’s business is conducted, was born and raised in Kiryat Gat. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands tax haven, but because its controlling shareholder, CEO, and most of its executives are Israelis and it has scores of employees in Israel, the company can be considered as almost Israeli. SafeCharge has 200 employees in the UK, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Austria, and Germany.

After the IPO, JPMorgan Asset Management (UK) Ltd. will own 6.25% of SafeCharge, and Henderson Global Investors will own 5%.

SafeCharge was founded in 2006, after obtaining a payment car industry data security standard (PCI DSS) permit. It subsequently acquired Austrian e-commerce solutions provider XT Commerce, to become one of Europe’s leading clearing companies, with a focus, for now at least, on the gaming industry. Its customers include William Hill plc (LSE: WHM) Rank Digital Gaming plc (LSE: RNK), and Gala Coral Group Ltd.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com 

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