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Gambling stocks and mergers

The Christmas season started early for 365 Media Group. It has been announced that Sky Holdings and 365 media Group have agreed on a cash offer for the entire share capital of 365 Media. The offer was 68p in cash for each share of the company which comes to around £96 million and the fully diluted share capital of 365 Media at approximately £103 million. According to the information published by 365 Media, their entire group reaches around 9 million customers, and would add about 60,000 new betting and gambling accounts.

On the other extreme - Sportingbet has announced a first quarter loss of £241 million, blamed on the £252 exceptional charge for halting the US operations. However, the gross profit from continuing operations is up 48% from last years to £31.7 million, with cash on the balance sheet of £52 million.

In the online poker sector, Party Gaming is climbing back up, after the big hit of the US gambling law, which forced the company to close all of its US facing operations and cut almost 950 jobs. According to the latest data, daily poker revenues for Party Gaming averaged $720,000 for the past month, compared to $635,000 in the month of October. The daily revenue for the four weeks up to Dec. 11th was $920,000 which is showing a really strong upraise. UBS upgraded Party Gaming stock (and Sportingbet as well) to "neutral" from "reduce".

And last - Daily Mail has reported that Ladbrokes is closing on the purchase of 888 Holdings for around £490 million. This news has not been officially confirmed by any of the two companies, however, press releases from both have been published last month, confirming the interest in acquisition.

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