Sun, Jun 15, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GAMBLING

Firm antes up in poker deal

Amaya Gaming Group Inc is to buy the owner and operator of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands in a US$4.9 billion deal. Canada’s Amaya said the deal with privately held Oldford Group Ltd, the Isle of Man-based parent company of Rational Group Ltd, will make it the biggest publicly traded online operator of casino games. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have more than 85 million registered players on desktop and mobile devices. Online poker services provided by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are not to be affected by the transaction. Amaya said on Thursday that it believes the acquisition will expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets in which it already has a footprint, especially the US.

SPAIN

Stake in AENA for sale

The government on Friday said that it is to sell a 49 percent stake in state-owned airport operator AENA, taking advantage of a renewed optimism on financial markets to raise billions of euros. The government approved the long-delayed sale of a stake, reportedly worth nearly 2.5 billion euros (US$3.4 billion), in one of the world’s largest airport managers. Plans for a partial privatization of AENA were first revealed by the former Socialist government in 2011, but had to be delayed as investors struggled to find the money on financial markets worried about Spain’s debt crisis. AENA, which runs 46 airports and two heliports in Spain and another 15 airports abroad, most in Mexico, is “easily” worth 16 billion euros, its president Jose Manuel Vargas told leading daily El Pais in a recent interview.

MERGERS

Priceline reserves OpenTable

Online travel giant Priceline said on Friday that it is to buy restaurant reservation service OpenTable for US$2.6 billion in cash. “OpenTable is a great match for the Priceline Group. They provide us with a natural extension into restaurant marketing services and a wonderful and highly-valued booking experience for our global customers,” Priceline Group’s president and chief executive Darren Huston said. Priceline, which began as a service in which travelers bid for hotels and other travel options, has grown into a major brand with the hotel service Booking.com, aggregator Kayak and other Web sites.

AUTOMAKERS

Honda mulls airbag recall

Honda Motor Co expects to recall vehicles with potentially defective airbags, a move that could expand a massive, multi-company airbag recall by more than a million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The recall involves faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata Corp and would follow a similar move this week by Toyota Motor Corp. The Honda recall should be announced by the end of this month, said the source, who declined to be identified. Honda, while waiting for further information from Takata on its inflator problems, is also investigating on its own how many vehicles it may need to call back and where they are, the individual said. The number of vehicles it recalls could exceed the 1.135 million vehicles Honda called back globally last year, the person said. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, on Wednesday called back 1.62 million previously recalled vehicles outside Japan as well as 650,000 more in Japan not previously recalled.

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