Smurfit jnr to get crack at the listed life
Online gaming outfit GameAccountNetwork is planning a November 25th flotation to raise about £15 million.
There will soon be yet another Smurfit running a listed company following the news that online gaming outfit GameAccountNetwork (GAN) is planning a November 25th flotation to raise about £15 million.
Dermot Smurfit jnr, son of Powerflute chairman Dermot snr and nephew of K Club owner Michael, is the latest family scion to have a crack at the listed life.
Until GAN’s stock exchange paperwork is finalised next week, Smurfit Jnr is on a vow of silence, which must be tough for him – a gregarious chap like his father, he is never usually short of a word or two.
Genesis of GAN
I heard a story this week about the genesis of GAN. After the €3.5 billion Madison Dearborn deal in 2002 that took Jefferson Smurfit private, the family was rolling in lucre – Michael Smurfit alone pocketed about €200 million.
The Smurfits consider themselves builders – business builders, that is. A family meeting was called to discuss the next business they would build and float. Smurfit jnr stuck up his hand and suggested online gaming.
By all accounts the family wouldn’t touch it it until Dermot Desmond, a family friend, gave the idea the thumbs up. Now they all look set to make a few quid. Junior retains 17 per cent of GAN, uncle Michael owns 15.5 per cent, cousin Tony own 11.5 per cent, while Desmond owns 3.6 per cent.
The real lolly will come if GAN cracks the US online gaming market, which is being slowly opened up.
It recently received a licence, alongside Betfair, to produce online games for the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal casinos in Atlantic City. The site will go live in a couple of weeks once GAN has physically installed its servers in the basement of the casinos, a regulatory requirement.
Keeping it all in the family, Smurfit jnr’s sister Victoria, a US-based actress who currently stars in NBC’s Dracula, will be the voice of the blackjack and roulette game. Fangs very much indeed.