PartyGaming, formerly known as iGlobalMedia, has officially appointed FD to handle PR around a financial review for which it has also hired investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DKW).
But observers believe Gibraltar-based PartyGaming wants to list on the
London Stock Exchange this year to capitalise on the market’s penchant for online gambling companies.
Shares in London-listed competitor Sportingbet rose by nearly 64 per cent after it bought Paradise Poker.
PartyGaming is thought to have made more than £185m in 2004. A flotation could value the company at between £2.1bn and £3.7bn.
Although PartyGaming would not be the only listed online gambling company, it would be a large vehicle for investors eager for a slice of the gambling boom. A survey published last week by Inside Edge and gambling website 888.com found the amount of money staked online had risen by 566 per cent since 2003.
The creation of such a large player in the online gambling sector could also be the catalyst for more rapid consolidation as other gambling companies go on a shopping spree to gain critical mass.
FD chief executive Charles Watson declined to give further details of the firm’s role beyond the review by DKW.
News analysis, p20