The Ben-Yitzhak brothers – co-founders of online casino 888 Holdings – have disposed of a £57m stake in the firm, the Financial Times has reported.
The sale reduces the brothers’ overall stock share from 10.4 percent to just below the disclosure level of three percent. According to traders, the shares were placed through Investec Securities at 205p apiece.
There have been rumours of tension between the Ben- Yitzhak family and 888 cofounder Avi Shaked, who owns a 48.2 percent stake in the company split between him and his late brother’s children.
Shaked is rumoured to have scuppered William Hill’s bid to take over the firm last year when he allegedly demanded a minimum of 300p per share – 100p more than William Hill was offering.
After the 200p offer remained in place, William Hill said the deal talks had broken down, citing “a significant difference of opinion in value with a key stakeholder”.
At the time, a spokesperson for the Shaked family told reporters that they were not “natural sellers of cash”, suggesting that they would prefer to consider an allshare merger with a competitor rather than selling their stake.
After the announcement of the Ben-Yitzhak sale, the share price of 888 slid by just over three percent, closing at 214.8p.