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27 January 2010

PartyGaming co-founder sells stake - 26th January 2010

PartyGaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit has completed the sale of his remaining 9.5 percent stake in the online gaming firm, his investment vehicle Crystal Ventures confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.

Dikshit, who in 2008 pleaded guilty to an online betting charge in the United States, sold 38.8 million shares in PartyGaming at a price of 270 pence per share, a discount of 8 percent to Monday's closing price.

He gained about 105 million pounds from the sale, which was made through an accelerated bookbuild offering to institutional investors.

Dikshit co-founded PartyGaming in 1997 and was the driving force behind its user-friendly technology, which helped the company take a place in the FTSE 100 following a flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

He had already sold an 18 percent stake in October for 188 million pounds.

Shares in PartyGaming, which said last week it was in talks with a number of companies regarding consolidation opportunities, were down 6 percent to 275.8 pence at 12:25 p.m.

Daniel Stewart analyst James Hollins reiterated his 'buy' recommendation and 366 pence price target, saying the sale represented a positive outcome for shareholders wary of the ongoing threat of further major share sales.

"PartyGaming's shares have had a deservedly strong run recently and we would use today's anomalous share decline as an opportunity to pick up stock," he said.



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