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PokerStars up for sale according to The Times

Sun, 8 Jan 2006 Send page to friend Bookmark page Smaller font Larger font Printer friendly

If you have some dead money in your savings account and are looking for a nice investment you might want to spend it on PokerStars. The world's second largest poker room, which is controlled by the Israeli Scheinberg family, is reportedly up for sale for a "bargain" price of $2 billion dollars, according to The Times.

The Times reports that PokerStars' founder Isai Scheinberg has appointed the Rothschild bank to sell or float PokerStars at a price of more than $2 billion dollars. If successful the sale or flotation would be one of the biggest in recent poker history. The biggest poker flotation to date was PartyGaming's IPO back in June last year. PartyGaming floated for approximately GBP 5 billion, and is now one of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The Scheinberg family owns 75% of PokerStars' shares. The remaining 25% is owned by employees. This means Isai Scheinberg can look forward to cash in a whopping $1.5 billion dollars. Not bad for someone who started his career as a programmer for IBM.

The Times also says financial analysts are betting on a sale instead of a flotation, and likely buyers are 888 Holdings (owner of Pacific Poker), Rank Group or William Hill.

PokerStars was one of the first online poker rooms. Founded in 1999, PokerStars boasts yearly revenues of around $200 million, with a net profit of almost 50 percent of it's revenues. PokerStars is the world's second largest poker room according to PokerPulse and is supported by the past three World Series of Poker champions: Chris MoneyMaker (2003), Greg Raymer (2004) and Joe Hachem (2005).

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