Online Casino Software Firm Confirms Rumors
Online casino firm PartyGaming first paved the way for fellow gaming companies to float on the London Stock Exchange. Now online casino software giant Playtech has announced plans to float shares on London’s Alternative Investment Market, leading several industry analysts to predict that its initial IPO will far surpass that of the online poker firm’s. The software firm, which powers approximately one third of the world’s online casino companies, confirmed rumors of an imminent floatation after the UK’s Financial Times leaked the news earlier in the week.
Investor interest was heightened further when a recent statement by a Playtech spokesperson indicated that the online casino software company plans to offer shares valuing $300 million U.S. dollars in an initial public offering. This would increase its total value to $950 million dollars. In the statement, the spokesperson confirmed that Playtech, which is based in the Virgin Islands and headed by Teddy Sagi, who currently owns more than 50 percent of the company’s shares, will float “within the month.” Playtech’s fortunes have risen rapidly with the boom in online casino gambling worldwide. In 2003, the company recorded a net annual profit of $8.2 million U.S. dollars. In 2005, Playtech’s year ended with over $35 million dollars in profit, while sales of its online casino products also rose to $47.6 million dollars.
The company has a policy of recruiting software graduates to work in its research and development division, and has a strong relationship with the University of Tartu in Estonia, where most of its employees originate. Playtech’s management team however is based on the Isle of Man. The online casino software firm develops and licenses software for over 90 online casino sites, 16 online poker rooms and 14 bingo websites.