SportingBet and Empire Online Fail to Reach Agreement 

20 September 2005

Sportingbet, the world’s leading online gambling company, announced that it has ended negotiations to acquire Empire Online.

Sportingbet, it had been reported, were attempting to tie-up an £800m deal for Empire Online. The company has now revealed that the talks barely got off the ground before the two companies agreed to terminate the negotiations.

The speculation surrounding the deal had a significant impact on the share price of Empire and as the talks broke down and news leaked out, the shares’ value bottomed-out, down by 17%. This latest setback follows on from the concerns in the stock market of a style bubble burst hitting the booming online poker sector.