Online Casino Firm Will Float or Sell
Online casino firm Poker Stars is deciding whether it will proceed with plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in the last half of 2006. The second largest online casino poker firm intends to float at 1.2 billion pounds sterling or sell its interests this year, fuelling speculation that the online poker boom could be nearing its end. Either way, the owners of the online casino, the Scheinberg family from Israel, stand to reap huge profits.
According to industry reports, the Scheinbergs have appointed a prominent London City bank, NM Rothschild, to either sell or float the online casino company at a minimum price of 1.2 billion pounds sterling. The news has generated high levels of interest amongst potential investors who have been quick to predict high returns on shares similar to those offered by other online casino firms who have gone public. Signs point to the middle or the end of 2006 as a likely time for the online casino firm’s floatation.
However some insiders have predicted that instead of continuing their involvement with the online casino industry, the Scheinbergs would prefer to sell the company instead. Expressions of interest have already been made from the owners of 888 Holdings, the Bet Yitzhak’s and the Shaked’s. William Hill and the Rank Group have also been connected with the future of Poker Stars as both firms are reportedly looking for ways to increase their involvement in online casino gaming.