|The four founders of PartyGaming, the world's biggest online gaming group, sold a 5 percent stake in the company on Wednesday but maybe got less than they had expected.|
Gibraltar-based PartyGaming handles nearly half the global online poker market and the move has led to a lower-than-expected £232 million being raised in the shares sale.
The selling shareholders are Nitin Jain and founders Anurag Dikshit, Russell DeLeon, Ruth Parasol and Vikrant Bhargava.
The size of the deal was reduced to 200 million shares from 350 million previously planned, dealers said, adding that the eventual price was below the indicated range of 119-120 pence.
A cautious outlook statement last September sparked a downturn that took its shares to a low of 67p, but it has since regained the lost ground through the acquisition of three rivals and the launch of new software.
A PartyGaming spokesman said, 'The founders still have to maintain a majority holding until 2010 to keep the company's status in Gibraltar. And if they chose to sell below, they'd have to give the company 12 months notice.'