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14 February 2008

Boss chief hails GEMed takeover

Michael Hallen, chief executive of Boss Media, has hailed his company’s effective takeover by GTech and Medstroms subsidiary GEMed yesterday.

GTech and Medstroms acquired 31.2 million of Boss’ shares yesterday, or over 50%, effectively ending all possibility of any other competitor bidding for the company. GTech now holds 24 million shares and Medstroms 7.2 million shares of Boss, representing 54.6% of the company’s voting rights and share capital.

Hallen told eGaming Review that the deal would enable Boss to reach into even more markets across the world, and that the company had gathered momentum in the past few months thanks to high-profile contracts and new products such a newly-launched bingo offering.

The Boss Media board of directors recommended an increased offer from GEMed this week of SEK25 per share. GEMed made an offer for Boss of SEK19 per share on 1 February, which was followed by reported interest from two other bidders.

With GEMed increasing its offer by more than 30% this week and having access to many state-owned members of the World Lottery Association, Hallen agreed that the future business potential for Boss was a significant factor in the deal being done. “Absolutely, the access to such large markets was key to this transaction,” he said.

Hallen also denied that the Svenska Spel deal had changed the fortunes of Boss Media, leading to this week’s takeover by GEMed. “I wouldn’t put it like that, Svenska Spel was a high-profile deal but there are assets in Boss that are just as important. We have a number of high-profile clients, in the UK and elsewhere, and there isn’t one that is more important than another,” he said.

Hallen added that he didn’t expect any major staff changes at Boss following the takeover and that the operators that make up the Boss poker network would more than likely be happy and comforted that Boss now has such strong backing in GTech, one of the largest gaming companies in the world.