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Sky City antes up for more of Canbet

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 12th December 2000

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Sky City (NZSE: SKC) is going ahead with plans to buy more of Australian online betting company Canbet but at a much cheaper price than its original investment.

SKC currently holds a 6.8% stake in Canbet which it bought in July at A30 cents a share, and will now go ahead with plans to buy up to 33% of the company at a revised price of A15cents..

The purchase is conditional upon regulatory approvals and agreement from Canbet's shareholders. If the conditions are satisfied Sky City will acquire a further 96.33 million shares, plus an equivalent number of options which can be exercised on or before the end of March 2002 at A20cents.

The total cost of the Canbet stake - including the initial investment - will be A$19.45 million.

Sky City MD, Mr Evan Davies says the decision to go ahead with the Canbet investment confirms his company's intention to participate in the electronic wagering market through a well established, licensed operator.

"We believe online wagering will be an important feature of the gaming industry in the future and Canbet is one of the leading brands in this sector, with a loyal customer base and a state of the art technology platform.

"Canbet's internet wagering business is experiencing significant revenue growth and has a global customer base through its coverage of a range of popular sports. Sky City's investment will provide Canbet with further capital to expand and take advantage of the growing demand for online wagering."

Mr Davies says online wagering is a complementary business to Sky City's casino gaming and entertainment business, and provides a significant diversification opportunity within the industry.

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