Party Gaming founder moves on

One of the original founders finally bows out

PartyGaming plc founder Anurag Dikshit sold his remaining stake in the ownership of the online-gambling group this week, a company he helped start in 1997. The sale had an immediate impact of the stock, which tanked 7 percent in London trading.

Dikshit sold 38.8 million shares at a price of 270 pence per share through an accelerated book build to institutional investors, according to a Business Wire statement today. The sale of the 9.5 percent holding raised about GBP 105 million.

Dikshit had previously sold two-thirds of his stake last October (see previous InfoPowa report).

A spokesman for the Party Gaming founder said: “This is simply about moving on. “It’s been a process over four years since he first withdrew from the board. And that’s now it.”

In December 2008, Dikshit pleaded guilty to illegal Internet gambling in the U.S. and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department in its probe of the company. He paid $300 million in fines and is scheduled to be sentenced in December 2010.

“It’s brought its fair share of issues,” Dikshit's spokesman commented. “We have the court hearing and sentencing still hanging over us. Anurag voluntarily went to America and pled guilty so that he could move on.”

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