Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pacific Poker (Cassava listing on the LSE, and PokerStars is next

Yall know me and my conspiracy theories. Here's a rich one-- all the asshat bigboy poker rooms are suddenly swamping the LSE, in order to keep me from sleep. I could have just turned in after a long day of emailing about GamesGrid's private, password protected tourneys (everyone's doing it!) but no. I had to know what was sitting in my news aggregator, and since its my conspiracy party, they know I'd check it and see tons of news I can't help but harp on, and know I won't sleep til its purged. They're trying to keep this good girl down, friends.


Yeah, so not only does Coral Eurobet wants to bob for dividends on the London Stock Exchange, so does Pacific Poker's parent company Cassava (aka: -- that irritating ass popup site "want to download while browsing our site?" one). Cassava is expected to have a value of about $1.5bn USD, controlled by 2 pairs of brothers for 70% and 20% respectively. (And who says dreams don't come true-- The brothers set up the business after buying a gaming licence in Antigua for $100,000!) Like we saw with Party Gaming's float, the executives are reaping in the rewards as well: Its chief executive John Anderson, head of UK property group Burford, could make up to £35 million from what is thought to be a stake of up to 4% And its a good time to be a non-US based bank in this "fees bonanza," as HSBC, Cassava's lead underwriter, is thought to be in line for at least £15 million in fees depending on the amount of new money raised and the level of success fee it has agreed.

Interestingly enuf, Credit Suisse First Boston, which has been advising Cassava’s shareholders, had been expected to act as adviser to the company but is understood to have decided against such a move over the US legality question, and that's how the US cookie crumbles. CSFB would rather forgo $30m than face the sabre-rattling DOJ and its band of merry informational subpoenas.

Of course, like I predicted (somebody quote me!) -- it's not just one or two wanting to jump in the waters. Its been long speculated that as PokerStars has been planning to move its base of operations from Costa Rica to the Isle of Man, but they've finally gone and made an honest (wo)man of IOM by announcing their flight from Costa Rica to IOM's open (and gradually taxing) arms.

Now, yall may say who gives a nipponese cockroach about Poker Stars' move, but I submit that a European base for online poker companies is necessary for a successful LSE launch and to attract EU investors (seeing as the American ones are left in the cold again!) Party moved its servers from Canadia to Gibraltar before its listing on the LSE, ostensibly to make its IPO shinier, and it seems that PokerStars' move is mimicking that play in its relocation.

The EU is truly becoming the home of online poker and online gambling-- stocks, banks and now actual physical space and server occupation.

So, stay tuned for a "PokerStars is listing on the London Stock Exchange" post from me in the near future. A guess, anyway.

As for now, you know the drill-- Nite all :)

GamesGrid Poker

12:45:51 AM  
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