Amaya Gaming’s $4.9 billion takeover of PokerStars rendered its existing poker network somewhat superfluous, and thus it duly completed the sale of the Ongame Network to Swedish gaming solutions provider NYX Gaming Group this week. The buying price will be the equivalent of eight times Ongame’s 2015 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, minus any required working capital.
As part of the deal, Amaya has agreed to invest $10 million in NYX Gaming as an unsecured convertible debenture, a type of loan that can be converted into stock by the holder. It is set to mature two years from the date it is issued, with an interest rate at six percent per year payable at maturity.
Game On for NYX
“Ongame is renowned in the gaming industry for its excellent poker products, platform and service,” said Chief-executive of NYX Gaming Matt Davey. “Not only does this acquisition provide NYX Gaming Group with one of the best poker products in the industry, it also gives us access to products that are regulated in several jurisdictions, and more importantly, a talent pool that can help grow all parts of our business.
“The addition of Ongame is in line with our objective to continue to grow in Europe and the US,” he added. “We are committed to the integration and development of Ongame’s B2B poker network. Further, through this transaction we will strengthen our relationship with one of the most successful gaming companies in the world, the Amaya Gaming Group.”
Ongame: A History
Ongame began life in Sweden as PokerRoom.com at the end of the millennium when online poker was in its infancy. It was one of the first online poker sites to cater to Macs as well as PCs and by the time it changed its name to Ongame, in 2005, it had 3.5 million registered users. That year it was acquired by BetandWin.com, later to become bwin-party, which owned it for seven years. Following the merger between bwin and Party Poker in 2011, Ongame became surplus to requirements and its customers were encouraged to migrate to the new bwin.party client. It was sold to Amaya soon after, in 2012.
While Ongame may no longer hold the clout it used to, it’s still a reasonably large network that can maintain an average of 300 simultaneous cash players, and hosts some relatively well-known skins, including Betsson, Poker Heaven and RedBet. NYX said Ongame will complement its existing casino, bingo and lottery solutions in Europe and the US.
Meanwhile, rumors of a supposed $1.2 billion takeover by Amaya Gaming of bwin.party, which hit fever pitch earlier this month, appear to have disappeared. However, the rumors did prompt a statement from bwin.party confirming that it had entered into “preliminary discussions” which “may or may not” result in an offer being made for the company.