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Party Gaming set for Floatation – June 3rd, 2005

Casino NewsParty Gaming, the owner of online poker giant PartyPoker, has decided to float on the London Stock Exchange. Just over one year ago, Party Gaming moved their operations to the Offshore Gaming Capital Gibraltar, to join other operations on the Rock, such as Ladbrokes, Victor Chandlers, Cassava ( Operators of ) and Carmen Media ( Gaming Club is among their portfolio ).

This was seen as a prelude to Party Gaming floating on the London FTSE. Indeed OCR predicted back in March 2005, that Cassava would be floating later this year. We expect them to follow Partys move to float in a couple of months time.

Analysts believe PartyGaming – whose site is the world’s biggest – could be valued at more than £5bn, making it London’s largest listing in four years. Should it reach that valuation, PartyGaming would be worth more than household names such as Boots, Sainsbury’s and British Airways. The firm is the latest to try and tap into booming demand for online gaming.

PartyPoker has regularly been attracting 70,000 simultaneous players at peak times, the company said. Gibraltar-based PartyGaming was launched in 1997 and made a pre-tax profit of £371m last year. During the first three months of 2005 earnings growth has continued and sales almost doubled from the same period a year earlier.

“PartyGaming is a highly profitable and cash-generative business,” said its chief executive Richard Segal.

“Our focus will be to deliver attractive returns for our shareholders through a combination of the growth of the business and through the payment of dividends.”

The company said the money raised in the flotation would be used to fund acquisitions, develop new products and expand its business into new countries.

Founders Anurag Dikshit, husband and wife Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, and Vikrant Bhargava, are set to reduce their holding in the PartyGaming to close to 77%

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