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Top Online Gambling Firms Bid for Cashcade

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Two of world’s largest online gambling companies – PartyGaming and 888
Holdings – are expected to submit sealed bids this week with the aim of
acquiring leading UK online bingo firm, Cashcade, which owns and operates
a number of online bingo sites including the popular Foxybingo.

It seems that the executives at Cashcade, which is partly owned by Independent
News & Media, feel that the time is right to sell the multi-million pound
business. Financial analysts have forecast that Cashcade should fetch anything
from 70 to 100 millions pounds, maybe more if a bidding war transpires.

Part of the reason that Cashcade is up for sale is the fact that Independent
News & Media has been struggling of late due to the recession, and would thus
benefit from a much-needed cash injection. In addition, a sale would pay off
handsomely for Cashcade’s directors and staff who own half of the shares.

While PartyGaming – which owns and operates PartyPoker, one of the world’s most
popular online poker rooms – and 888 Holdings – which owns and operates
Casino-on-Net and Pacific Poker – are undoubtedly the biggest bidders, they may
face stiff competition from Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power.

Like its rivals, Paddy Power also seems to be on an acquisition mission, having
earlier this month acquired a 51 percent stake in leading Australian online
betting site, Sportsbet, for a hefty 23.7 million pounds. The sale of Cashcade
will be conducted by New York-based investment bank, Jefferies & Co.

Particularly eager to get its hands of Cashcade will be PartyGaming, who just
recently ended a long-standing dispute with the US Department of Justice by
paying a large amount of money in restitution. As such, the firm is now free to
concentrate on strategic acquisitions that will strengthen its position.

Not to be outdone, however, 888 Holdings too sports a bulging check book and is
not afraid to use it. A 888 Holdings trading statement disseminated earlier this
month confirmed that the company was ‘well-placed to exploit merger and
acquisition opportunities when they become available’.

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