Web poker site bets on $5.6 billion float - Saturday 12th of March 2005

The world's biggest online poker company, PartyGaming, will announce plans today for a possible flotation in London that could value the business at 3 billion pounds, the Times newspaper has reported.

The report said on Thursday the company had appointed Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Investec Securities to advise it on "strategic options." Without citing sources, the Times said the company favours an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange some time this year. But the report said PartyGaming would also consider other options, such as raising debt or seeking a merger partner.

It said the company was launched in 2001 and accounts for more than half the global online poker market. A separate report in the Financial Times newspaper said the flotation could be worth about 2.3 billion pounds. The FT said the Gibraltar-based group, formerly known as iGlobalMedia, would be catapulted into the FTSE 100 index of leading UK shares.

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