Ongame For Sale By

ShuffleMaster Dissolve Acquisition

Ongame is the B2B poker network belonging to digital entertainment plc. Thursday this week, this European online gambling operator confirmed that this part of their business was for sale. At a recent AGM held in Gibraltar, for the newly merged company; the board of directors said that the company is trading generally in-line with management expectation, despite the fact that sports betting margins were lower than expected. Their casino products are performing well and they have also entered into a formal sale process for Ongame. This is expected to be finalised by the end of 2011.

We don’t see any names mentioned, but we are going to assume that they have a buyer for this leading online poker network.

The company has also seen an improvement in new player sign-up numbers as an after effect of the DoJ action against rivals PokerStars, FullTilt and a number of other US-facing online poker sites; but have said that this has made little material difference to the bottom-line of their online poker operations. The new sign ups apparently represent a very small proportion of their overall online poker playing base. As part of the strategy of the merger, these companies were due to recycle surplus assets and have received some initial soundings of interest from various parties for the Ongame B2B, plus its technology platform.

Plans made since the merger are also on track with and they envisage the €55 million annual synergies to be completed by 2013. The AGM also determined that having undertaken a comprehensive capital review, a dividend will be announced together with half year results on the 31st August of this year. This interim dividend will be €15m payable in October 2011 and €15m payable in May 2012, so shareholders should be happy about this.

Written by Neha A


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