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Extension Granted to Amaya Re Cryptologic Acquisition


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Large network and server-based Canadian online gambling specialist Amaya Gaming
Group has been given until February 2 to decide whether or not to complete its
acquisition of top-rated online gambling software vendor, Cryptologic.

In mid-December last year, Amaya announced its intention to acquire
Cryptologic
for $34.5 million. However, the deadline for the acquisition –
as set by the UK’s City Code on Takeovers and Mergers – expired on Thursday this
week, hence the extension until the beginning of February.

Unknown Whether Acquisition will still Proceed

According to reports, before the deadline expired, Amaya approached the Panel on
Takeovers and Mergers for an extension, which was granted. This development must
be making the executive at Cryptologic a little nervous, as it is unknown
whether the acquisition will still go ahead.

Last year the Pointe-Claire, Quebec-based Amaya acquired a seven percent
interest in Dublin, Ireland-based Cryptologic, with the proposed acquisition
deal valuing Cryptologic’s shares at $2.50 each, a notable premium of 52 percent
over the firm’s closing share price of $1.64 as of December 14.

Reportedly, as
a means to help fund the acquisition, at the end of last year Amaya agreed to
sell 20,000 special warrants worth $19.25 million to leading Canadian investment
banking firm Canaccord Genuity Corporation,  accompanied by an additional 3,000
over-allotment option.

However, Amaya seems to be ‘playing its cards close to its chest’ in terms of
whether it will complete the purchase of Cryptologic or not, which was echoed in
a recent statement from the company that read: ‘This announcement is not an
announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.7 of the City
Code on Takeovers and Mergers, and there can be no certainty that an offer will
be made.’

Shuffle Master Acquires Fire Bet

In other gaming acquisition news, leading US automatic card shuffler and
proprietary table games supplier Shuffle Master Incorporated has announced the
acquisition of Fire Bet, a highly popular craps side bet, from US games
developer, HopBet Incorporated.

Available in approximately 80 US and Canadian
land casinos, Fire Bet is widely acknowledged to be the most popular craps
proprietary side bet in operation, hence Shuffle Master’s interest in acquiring
it for an undisclosed sum.

Said Shuffle Master Executive Vice-President, Roger Snow, ‘Fire Bet is truly
one of the elite products in table games. You can count on one hand the number
of side bets that have ever demonstrated the popularity and longevity that Fire
Bet has.

‘This acquisition is a continuation of our strategy to build our intellectual
property portfolio. We are very pleased to add Fire Bet to the Shuffle Master
suite of brands,’ he said.

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