Stars of Poker
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-04-17
Israeli owned poker site, PokerStars, is set to float on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of around $2bn.
According to The Sunday Times, the world's second largest online poker company is in talks with a number of investment banks to enable a floatation to go ahead.
Last month, the poker site registered its five millionth player and is said to be making profits of between $150m and $200m a year.
Previously, it was suggested that PokerStars would be sold to either a bricks and mortar gaming company or a rival but a floatation is looking more likely as a way for the controlling family and well as other shareholders to realise money from their investment.
PokerStars is 75% owned by Isai Scheinberg and his family who live in Canada. Scheinberg was previously a computer programmer for IBM who specialised in Unicode and founded PokerStars in 1999 and operates it with his children running it.
If a float goes ahead, PokerStars would be the fourth Israeli online gaming company to float in London. Previously Empire Online founded by Noam Lanir was floated, 888 founded by the Shaked and Ben-Yitzhak families was also floated as well as Playtech which powers a number of leading online casinos.