Empire Online buys Club Dice, Noble Poker for $40m

CEO Noam Lanir: We've achieved a strategic goal to diversify our technology provider base.

Online gambling site operator Empire Online today announced that it has agreed to acquire the business and assets of Club Dice, together with club Dice's customer database. Empire Online will also purchase the intellectual property and brand of Noble Poker. The total consideration for the two platforms is expected to be approximately $40 million in cash.

Empire Online CEO Noam Lanir said the two platforms operate some of the most highly regarded casino software in the industry, adding, "In Club Dice and Noble Poker we have bought running businesses which achieve a strategic objective of diversifying our base of technology providers.”

Established in 2001, Club Dice comprises three casino brands (Club Dice Casino, MonacoGold Casino, Carnival Casino), and one bingo brand (YouBingo).

The Club Dice database currently comprises over 70,000 registered real money customers.

Empire Online stated should the Club Dice acquisition takes place, the net income multiple paid for the acquisition would represent a significant discount to Empire Online’s current price to earnings ratio.

Both Club Dice and Noble Poker utilize Playtech Ltd. software under license. The acquisition comprises the player database, certain intellectual property, and a license to operate Playtech software across the four Club Dice platforms.

Noble Poker, is the largest poker operator on Playtech's iPoker network. Empire Online will operate the marketing of Noble Poker.

Empire Online believes that the acquisition of Club Dice and Noble Poker will enhance Empire Online's product offering and diversify the company’s technology providers, as well as give the company greater control of its casino product offering through ownership of a gaming license.

Empire Online anticipates that the re-launch of Noble Poker, along with the investment in Empire Online’s backgammon platform, 65.com, will incur costs in the short term, but expect the company’s new platforms to enhance earnings within twelve months.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on Monday, August 01, 2005

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