PartyGaming Empire Strikes Back
By James McKeown
Online gambling firm PartyGaming has confirmed it is to buy the gaming assets of rival firm Empire Online for £19.2 million, in a deal that will see the company take charge of sites such as Noble Poker and Club Dice Casino.

Empire stated that the recent crackdown on internet gaming in the US (UIGEA), where most of its business was based, had made it impossible for it to stay independent. Earlier this week, the company’s major shareholder Noam Lanir sold his remaining shares to PartyGaming for $40 million.

PartyGaming has also announced that it is acquiring the gaming assets of Intercontinental Online for around £14 million, and expects both deals to boost earnings by more than £4 million.

'These acquisitions represent excellent value for our shareholders and are consistent with our strategy,' said PartyGaming chief executive Mitch Garber.

'The addition of a number of well-known secondary brands will provide opportunities for cross-promotion, increasing customer choice and satisfaction and maximising the long term value of current and future players.'

PartyGaming bosses can also look forward to a £42 million windfall after the company restructured its management incentive schemes to open up tens of millions of new share options.

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