Empire Online Poker owner sells shares to PartyGaming
Wednesday 27th December 2006
Israeli online poker and gambling entrepreneur and marketing expert Noam Lanir has sold his remaining shares in Empire Online to Party Gaming for $40 million, according to the Y-news site.
More than eighteen months after the company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the indications are that Lanir is heading out of the online gambling business altogether, after revealing that he will use the revenues from the sale of Empire, which total $300 million, to invest in real estate.
The deal with PartyGaming, the world's largest operator of gambling Web sites, is expected to be finalised by the end of the week.
Some (Israeli) experts interpreted the move as a signal that the two remaining Israeli online gambling companies traded on the LSE, 888.com and Playtech, may be making similar moves following the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Empire was worth $928 million when first traded on the LSE, but its shares have fallen drastically in recent months. The company has an estimated value of $244 million today after its shares fell by 80 percent.