Shortly after news broke of a rumored merger between online gaming companies bwin and PartyGaming, an announcement about a definitive business deal between Everest Poker and Mangas Gaming hit the newswire.
According to a press release issued December 16th, Mangas will purchase 60% of Everest Gaming shares while the remaining 40% will stay with Everest’s current owner, Gigamedia. Gigamedia is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange, traded under the symbol, “GIGM”.
The merging of the two appears to be a good fit, as both companies have made a concerted effort to appeal to the French marketplace. Mangas is a French-based company that also operates online gaming sites Expekt, BetClic and Bet-At-Home. Everest Poker, who recently signed French poker pro Fabrice Soulier along with Antoine Saout, offers its online poker services all over Europe, but has been making a push in the French marketplace as of late. Once the acquisition is complete, players on Mangas’ other sites will be shifted over to Everest Poker.
Everest Gaming has been around since 1997 and gained notoriety in the poker community in 2008 after being the featured logo on the felt of the World Series of Poker. The poker room brokered the deal despite not being open to customers based in the United States. Nonetheless, Everest Poker did have a sponsorship presence at both the WSOP Main Event and WSOP Europe Main Event as their sponsored pro Saout was at both final tables.
The CEO of Mangas Gaming, Isabelle Parize, commented on the deal in an official press release. “We are very proud that Everest is joining our group”, she extolled. “It is a great company; it is a brand with an outstanding awareness in the world of poker, well known for its know-how, its platform reliability and its strict policies. Mangas Gaming is reinforcing its position as a major European player in both the online poker and sports betting.”
Arthur Wang, who serves as the CEO of GigaMedia, also had a positive slant on the buyout. “We were looking for a reference partner with complementary activities to ours. Our strategy is to participate in the growth of this innovative and dynamic industry in Europe. We are glad to do it alongside the French leading sports betting and online gaming group”, Wang explained.
According to an article on the Dow Jones newswire, the deal is worth more than $100 million. Mangas will make an upfront cash payment of $100 million to Everest and the deal is scheduled to be finalized in early 2010 and the final portion of the payment will come after the fair market value of the company is assessed in 2012. GigaMedia also has the option to buy the company back from Mangas in 2013.
Since the announcement, shares of GigaMedia are up 11% after being on a steady decline for the duration of 2009.

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