Online gamer 888 says it is in tie-up talks after US ban

London, Oct 30 | Updated: Oct 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
Online gaming firm 888 Holdings Plc confirmed on Monday it has held talks with third parties since the US effectively banned Internet gambling at the end of September.

In an unsourced report, The Sunday Times said 888 had held preliminary talks about a possible merger with rival PartyGaming.

In a statement 888 said it had held various preliminary discussions with third parties following suspension of its US activities, adding that there was no certainty that the discussions would proceed to an offer being made for the company or any other action.

The newspaper said executives from the two companies which would have a joint market capitalisation of almost 1.6 billion pounds ($3 billion) expected to hold further talks in the coming weeks as gaming firms consider options to combine their online pool of players in the wake of the US changes. PartyGaming was not immediately available for comments.

Reuters