Party Gaming plc, the London Stock Exchange listed group that owns Party Poker, has acquired "certain businesses and assets" from both Empire Online Limited and Intercontinental Online Gaming Limited. These assets include "several leading online gaming websites".
These deals will expand Party Gaming's casino and poker operations and strengthen its management and marketing teams. In total, Party Gaming is acquiring the assets, players and gaming-related contracts associated with Empire Online's gaming business and all of Intercontinental Online Gaming's business and assets. Neither company accepts bets from customers in the USA.
Party Gaming is paying for theses assets by way of an issue of its own shares – in total, 115,193,842. At the time of writing, the share price of Party Gaming at the close of 2006 stock market business was 31.75p, making the total value of the purchases worth approximately £36,500,000 or US$72,000,000.
Party Gaming says it expects the businesses and assets being acquired to generate "Clean EBITDA" (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of at least $8,500,000, comprising $6,000,000 from Empire Online and $2,500,000 from Intercontinental, with these being earnings-enhancing in 2007.
Amongst the valuable assets being acquired are websites relating to Noble Poker, Club Dice Casino, Enter Casino, Carnival Casino, Miss Bingo, Fair Poker and Magic Box Casino.
In addition, subject to completion, a software licensing agreement will also be entered into with Playtech, which is one of the world's leading companies in its field and hosts the sites being acquired from both Empire Online and Intercontinental.
Mitch Garber, Chief Executive Officer of Party Gaming, said today:
"These acquisitions represent excellent value for our shareholders and are consistent with our strategy. They bring incremental EBITDA and strong management with excellent marketing skills that will help us to accelerate our promotional plans for each of our individual products, particularly in casino which will continue to be spearheaded by PartyCasino. The addition of a number of well known secondary brands, supported by the agreement with Playtech, will provide opportunities for cross-promotion, increasing customer choice and satisfaction and maximising the long term value of current and future players."
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