PartyPoker to Sell for $150m?

April 1, 2024
Clinton Jacob Machoka

Entain's Decision to Sell partypoker

Entain plc, the owner of partypoker and numerous other gambling brands, has reportedly begun shopping the legendary brand in search of a corporate buyer. Rumors of Entain’s plans to sell off the partypoker unit have circled within the gaming industry in recent days and weeks, and on Tuesday, the UK’s Sky News reported that Entain has hired an investment banking firm to locate interested buyers.

Oakvale Capital LLP: The Chosen Firm

Sky News reported that Entain has retained Oakvale Capital LLP, a London-based financial-services firm, to aid Entain’s search for a buyer. Oakvale’s experience in and familiarity with the gaming sector is expected to help Entain maximize its return from selling off the party brand, which despite its legendary history now ranks outside the global top ten online-poker networks in cash-game traffic.

Valuation and Importance of partypoker

Industry sources quoted in the Sky News report suggest that partypoker and related assets should sell for around £150 million, and its update reiterates rumors that the party brand is no longer considered a “core asset” within Entain’s sprawling operations. Evidence of party’s de-emphasis was on display last week when Entain issued its 2023 full-year results, wherein the party brand specifically went unmentioned in Entain’s 44-page report.

Historical Significance of partypoker

The PartyPoker brand (as it was with original capitalization) is likely the internet’s oldest continually-operating online-poker room. Party wasn’t the first online poker site when it was launched in 2001 through the efforts of Ruth Parasol, Anurag Dipshit, Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, and others. However, PartyPoker quickly rose to prominence and was accurately billed as the “World’s Largest Poker Room” from 2002 through late 2006.

Decline and Current Status

Reports regarding Entain’s plans to sell off partypoker offer little beyond speculation as to what company might be the likeliest buyer. One interesting update from Entain is that on Tuesday, the company appointed Ronald J. Kramer as a non-executive board director. Kramer is officially independent, not having served in an executive capacity with any gaming company in recent years.

Q&A Section

Q: Why is Entain considering selling partypoker?
A: Entain perceives partypoker as no longer being a core asset within its operations, prompting the exploration of selling the brand.

Q: What factors contributed to the decline of partypoker's prominence?
A: Factors such as regulatory changes, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as indifferent management, have contributed to the decline of partypoker's prominence.

Q: Who is Oakvale Capital LLP, and why did Entain choose them?
A: Oakvale Capital LLP is a London-based financial-services firm with experience in the gaming sector. Entain chose them to aid in the search for a buyer due to their expertise and familiarity with the industry.

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