Amaya to Pay Only $6.5m-8m for Ongame, Announcement Next Week
UPDATE 9/30/12: Sources now suggest that the announced sales price will be approximately $26m.
Amaya Gaming Group Inc. has closed the deal to purchase the Ongame Network, and will pay in the region of $6.5m-$8m, pokerfuse has learned.
As first revealed two weeks ago, the Montreal-based gaming provider will purchase bwin.party’s “surplus asset” and an announcement is slated for next week, likely during the G2E gaming exposition in Las Vegas.
According to multiple sources familiar with negotiations, Ongame could sell for as little as $6.5m (€5m, £4m). As a point of comparison, Shuffle Master publicly entered into an agreement to purchase the asset for almost €30m in January this year, only to pull out three months later.
bwin.party has been looking to offload the network since mid-2011. Multiple parties were understood to be interested (including brief perfunctory regard from Zynga), although closing the deal proved more difficult than expected.
While bowing out, Shuffle Master cited a worsening situation in Europe and regulatory uncertainty in the US. There are also questions over the suitability of the network in the US.
Ongame remains the fifth largest network internationally, and operates regulated online poker in France and Italy. Although cash game traffic has declined some 20% in the last year, such a drop actually outperforms its main competitors iPoker and PartyPoker, and traffic has actually increased slightly in recent months.
Prior to sale, bwin players will transition to the PartyPoker platform, which should give a much-needed boost to player numbers.
Amaya’s intentions with its new acquisition are unknown.