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Playtech founder banks $544 million with enlarged stake sale

By Freya Berry

LONDON (Reuters) - The founder of online gaming technology company Playtech is set to bank around 326 million pounds ($543.5 million) after ramping up the size of a share sale to over 15 percent, the company said.

Playtech said on Wednesday that overwhelming demand from existing and new investors led to Teddy Sagi's Brickington Trading Limited increasing the share sale to 45 million shares from 29.3 million, at 725 pence each. The shares closed at 814 pence on Tuesday.

The offer launched after stock markets closed on Tuesday and books closed after just half an hour, a source familiar with the matter said. Brickington now owns a 33.6 percent stake in Playtech, and is under a 12-month lock-up period prohibiting further sale of shares.

Canaccord Genuity, Shore Capital and UBS were joint bookrunners on the sale.

Playtech develops software for gambling firms such as Betfair and Paddy Power. Both Chief Executive Mor Weizer and Chief Financial Officer Ron Hoffman acquired shares in the enlarged placing, numbering 36,000 and 10,000 respectively, Playtech said.

A subsidiary of Playtech, Roxwell Investments Limited, also acquired a 1.9 percent stake to provide future share options to Playtech employees.

Shares in the company were last down almost 11 percent at 1120 GMT.

($1 = 0.5998 British pounds)

(Additional reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Chris Vellacott)

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