After discussing the option for
a few months, the powers that
be at what has become the
largest poker room in the
world, Poker Stars has decided
to offer their company up as an
Initial Public Offering on the
London Stock Exchange rather
than sell straight out to
another entity, according to an
article in the London Sunday
Times.
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PokerStars
Ready To Float As IPO
After much debate in the inner sanctum of the PokerStars headquarters, it
seems that the online poker room will enter into the financial world sooner
rather than later.

It had been rumored earlier this year that the company, jointly owned by
Israeli businessman Isai Scheinberg, his family and fellow businessman
Pinchas Shapira, were looking to sell their three-quarter ownership of the
company. After discussing the option for a few months, the powers that be at
what has become the largest poker room in the world have decided to offer
their company up as an Initial Public Offering on the London Stock Exchange
rather than sell straight out to another entity, according to an article in the
London Sunday Times.

While the option of selling the business to other interests would present
some immediate capital, the flotation could be much more profitable for the
owners of PokerStars (the other quarter of the company is owned by the
employees of the site). It is expected that the IPO could generate one billion
British pounds when it reaches the market, which breaks down to just under
$2 billion in American funds. As such, many international investment
companies are lining up to get in on the action.

Some of the names that could end up escorting PokerStars through their
flotation paperwork include very powerful European investment banks such
as HSBC and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. These corporations would be
essential in getting PokerStars to the London Stock Market and would,
naturally, earn a nice percentage of the profits from the public offering.

With their potential flotation on the horizon, PokerStars is simply following
the current trend started by some other highly successful and profitable
companies in entering the financial markets of the European trading
community. Other notable online poker rooms and their respective ownership
groups, such as Party Poker (PartyGaming), ParadisePoker (Sportingbet PLC),
and PacificPoker (888.com) have enjoyed tremendous success and financial
gain from their entries into the stock market.

With their ongoing success, including weekly million dollar guaranteed
tournaments and the addition of their five millionth player to their roster,
PokerStars has shown that they are viable commodity that will enjoy success
if offered for trading. Soon the financial pundits of Europe could be trading in
shares of PokerStars in the near future rather than the virtual poker chips of
their tables alone.

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