BETandWIN to buy Ongame

Austrian Internet gambling firm, BETandWIN Interactive Entertainment (BWIN), has closed a deal to buy Swedish online gaming software giant, Ongame e-solutions, for an estimated 473 million Euros, it was announced on Friday. Worth an estimated $570 million, the deal is expected to go through by May 2006.

Ongame is a closely held company based in Stockholm. It operates PokerRoom.com, the third largest Internet poker site in the world, which boasts 6 million players. The firm will be paid 45% of the total sum in cash by the end of April, while 40% will be financed with shares in the Austrian company. The remaining 15% is to be paid by 2009, though the amount depends on Ongame's financial performance. The purchase is rumored to be more than four times greater than any other Internet gaming takeover to date.

In order to receive the full amount, Ongame must post net revenues of 88.19 million Euros and earn a minimum of 473.6 million Euros before depreciation, taxation, and amortization. The company earned net sales of 44 million Euros last year and is expecting to double their profits this year.

According to Norbert Teufelberger, co-chief executive of the Austrian company, "The acquisition of Ongame significantly advances BWIN's ambition to be a leading global provider of online gaming by combining the two companies' excellent platforms."

BETandWIN, an operator of sports betting sites, is listed on the Vienna stock market, and is considered one of the world's top companies among companies boasting a market value of at least $1 billion. Its stock has more than quintupled this year.

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