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Online Gambling Companies Consider IPOs

26 Oct 2004

LONDON – As reported by the UK Times: "Two of the world's biggest internet gambling companies are considering initial public offerings (IPOs) in London, the larger of which could go straight into the blue-chip FTSE 100 index.

"Both companies — iGlobalMedia and Cassava Enterprises — are based in the same building in Gibraltar, but there is no connection between them.

"…IGlobalMedia, which is best known for its PartyPoker website, is controlled by a small number of private shareholders, including Ruth Parasol, its head of international business development. The company is estimated to achieve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of about $350 million (£190 million).

"Given the company's rapid rate of growth, it should be able to command a valutaion of well over £2 billion in an IPO, giving it automatic entry to the FTSE 100. The appointment during the summer of Richard Segal, the former Odeon Cinemas boss, as chief executive has heightened speculation of an IPO.

"…Cassava, whose website sponsors Middlesbrough football club, is headed by John Anderson, who also runs Burford, the property firm. The company, which has Ebitda of between $80 million and $100 million, is controlled by two pairs of Israeli brothers. The majority shareholders are the Shaked brothers…"

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