11/7/09 – Bulgarian gambling operators may be concerned about government plans to increase taxation but at least one UK company is undeterred at the prospect.
Gaming Media Group, which counts Poker Heaven.com and Poker Channel among its subsidiaries, announced this week that it has acquired 49 percent of Bulgarian poker affiliate marketing site Igrach.com, and signed a Bulgarian distribution deal for the Poker Channel.
Igrach is arguably the biggest poker affiliate operator in Bulgaria, and the performance-oriented deal values the business at between Euro 1.5 million and Euro 1.9 million, with an option to buy the remaining 51 percent in the future. It is understood that Gaming Media will pay for the acquisition with cash and a package of services that include marketing and infrastructural assistance.
Poker Channel's managing director, Chris White, will hold executive responsibility for the new acquisition. In a parallel deal, Poker Channel has agreed terms with Bulgarian cable operator Megalan to carry the Channel in its digital basic package, with other major operators in the pipeline for the first quarter of 2010.
Gaming Media CEO Crispin Nieboer described the acquisition as a first step in his group's strategy of expanding its online affiliate business by making acquisitions in high-growth markets.
“Igrach.com has succeeded in building a valuable share of the online poker community in a territory that is experiencing significant growth," Nieboer said. "Through our TV exposure in Bulgaria, and by providing investment and infrastructure, we will help drive Igrach.com’s further growth in Bulgaria and adjacent territories.”
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