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Online poker firms at daggers drawn

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Empire Online is considering legal action against PartyGaming after takeover talks between the two fell through.

The online poker firm said it had terminated talks because PartyGaming's revised valuation was far too low. The original offer would have valued Empire Online at ten per cent of the total share capital of the merged company. Empire Online has seen its share price fall by half since the approach was first made in early November.

Part of the dispute relates to PartyGaming's decision to block users of "skin" services from playing each other back in October. Empire Online believes this decision caused it damage.

According to the statement: "Having received legal advice, the Directors intend to institute and vigorously pursue legal proceedings as soon as possible."

The company said it would continue to pursue its high growth targets while also looking at "commercial strategic opportunities". It believes it can deliver profits for the year ending 31 December in line with market expectations.

Empire Online has a history of being jilted at the altar. Sportingbet was in talks about a possible takeover which fell through in September.®

Read the rest of the RNS statement here.

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