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26 January 2010

PartyGaming Founder Anurag Dikshit Sells Remaining Stake - 26th January 2010

PartyCasino.com, PartyPoker.com, PartyBingo.com et al founder moves on

PartyGaming Plc founder Anurag Dikshit sold his remaining stake in the company through an accelerated bookbuild to institutional investors. The shares fell as much as 7 percent in London trading.

Dikshit sold 38.8 million shares at a price of 270 pence per share through his Crystal Ventures Ltd. vehicle, according to a statement distributed today via press release service, Business Wire.

The founder sold two-thirds of his stake in October. Dikshit wanted to "move away from the whole issue and industry of PartyGaming," his spokesman Shimon Cohen said at the time.

In December 2008, Dikshit pleaded guilty to illegal Internet gambling in the U.S. and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department in its probe of the company. He paid $300 million in fines and is scheduled to be sentenced this year.

PartyGaming fell as much as 20.5 pence to 273 pence, and traded at 275.2 pence, at 8:06 a.m., in London, giving the company a market value of 1.12 billion pounds ($1.82 billion).

PartyGaming was founded in 1997 by a group including Dikshit, who created its software platform. The company’s 2005 initial public offering made him the world’s 207th-richest person the following year, according to Forbes magazine.

The company is widely regarded as the world's leading igaming company and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

They are currently looking to return to the United States in a full capacity. PartyGaming have ramped up U.S exposure via their purchase of the World Poker Tour and have recently made a splash "down under" in Australia with their signing of poker professionals, Stewart Scott (2009 Aussie Millions champion) and Tony G (now representing Party's Noble Poker). Mike Sexton is global brand ambassador of Party's World Poker Tour.

PartyPoker is traditionally the companies most successful and popular brand, however in recent years PartyCasino.com has grabbed much of the news media and igaming media headlines with their exclusive Hollywood blockbuster themed games licensed from the likes of Marvel Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Frank Sinatra Enterprises, StudioCanal, Edgar Rice Burroughs, MGM, Activision, Hasbro and International Game Technology.

PartyGaming have won a vast array of gaming and business awards and commendations including from iGaming Review, iGaming Business, Casino News Media and Media Man.

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