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GigaMedia: Strategic Alliance with European Leader by Sale of 60% of Software Unit

Dec. 16/09

GigaMedia Limited (Nasdaq: GIGM) announced today an exciting strategic alliance with European online gambling leader Mangas Gaming by way of a sale of 60 per cent of GigaMedia's online gambling software business to Mangas.

Mangas Gaming is jointly owned by former media boss Stephane Courbit's Lov Group and the world renowned Monte Carlo Casino owner Societe des Bains de Mer de Monaco, controlled by the Principality of Monaco. Mangas has an extensive European gambling portfolio, including BetClic, Expekt, and Bet-at-Home, together offering sports betting, poker and casino services to over four million registered users in over 25 countries.

The strategic alliance will see Everest Poker joining the Mangas Gaming family as its primary poker site. Everest Poker, powered by GigaMedia's software, is one of the world's most popular poker sites and the official "felt" sponsor of the World Series of Poker. Everest Poker was named Poker Operation of the Year in 2007 and 2008 by industry journal e-Gaming Review.

"We are thrilled to have Everest Poker join the Mangas Gaming family with its media savvy and land-based casino shareholders and well known platform of gambling brands," stated GigaMedia CEO Arthur Wang. "By partnering with Mangas, we can realize the full value of our poker and casino software business and share the enormous upside of this powerful combination in the large European community."

"This strategic alliance will create an online gambling powerhouse in Europe with top poker, sports betting and casino offerings," stated GigaMedia CEO Arthur Wang.

In accordance with the terms of the strategic alliance, all Mangas poker players will move to the Everest Poker platform creating one of the largest poker player "liquidity" platforms in Europe. Everest Poker will also be able to benefit from the top sports betting offering of Mangas Gaming. In addition, the combined user base of Everest Poker and BetClic - both leading brands in France - strongly positions the alliance to capture potential growth from the soon to be opened and regulated French market, one of the largest in Europe.

Under the terms of the deal, the price of the 60 percent sale will be set at the fair market value of the business as of early 2012. Mangas will make payment in two parts - an up-front cash payment of US$100 million at closing and a final earn-out payment after the 2012 valuation depending upon the fair market value of the business at that time. GigaMedia will continue to hold the remaining 40 percent interest with a put option to sell all or part to Mangas beginning in 2013. Beginning in 2015, Mangas will have a call option on any remaining shareholding held by GigaMedia. For both GigaMedia's put option and Mangas's call option, the price will be determined based upon then fair market value.

"The clear trend in Europe toward individually regulated markets and the already competitive marketplace means there are tremendous advantages to having a European partner like Mangas," stated GigaMedia President Thomas Hui. "Mangas Gaming's unrivaled local knowledge and ability to leverage its high value strategic shareholders offers tremendous upside."

"Everest is an excellent fit with our group and the partnership will benefit both companies and our customers," said Mangas CEO Isabelle Parize. "Everest expands our presence in the world of poker with reliable, trusted solutions and a leading brand, strengthening our position as a major European player in both the poker and sports betting fields."

The Good Thief

DVD

Bob (played by a ravaged Nick Nolte, entering the elegant Casino Riviera with Anne): We're going to see fake glamor, serious money and a lot of bad plastic surgery. But remember: the dice falls the same for all of them.



Anne: That's lesson number four?

Bob: Five and six

Eggs, Beans and Crumpets

Audio CD

By P.G. Wodehouse and narrated by Jonathan Cecil, Lord something-or-other

The thing started one morning when Bingo returned to the love-nest for a bite of lunch after taking the Pekinese for a saunter. He was in the hall trying to balance an umbrella on the tip of his nose, his habit when at leisure, and Mrs Bingo came out of her study with a wrinkled brow and a couple of spots of ink on her chin.

'Oh, there you are,' she said. 'Bingo, have you ever been to Monte Carlo?'

Bingo could not help wincing a little at this. Unwittingly, the woman had touched an exposed nerve. The thing he had always wanted to do most in the world was to go to Monte Carlo, for he had a system which couldn't fail to clean out the Casino; but few places, as you are probably aware, are more difficult for a married man to sneak off to.

'No,' he said with a touch of moodiness. Then, recovering his usual sunny aplomb: 'Look,' he said. 'Watch, old partner in sickness and in health. I place the umbrella so. Then, maintaining a perfect equilibrium...'

'I want you to go there at once,' said Mrs. Bingo.

Bingo dropped the umbrella. You could have knocked him down with a toothpick. For a moment, he tells me, he thought that he must be dreaming some beautiful dream. (From All's Well With Bingo in Tales From the Drones Club, p. 160)

The Complete Essays of Mark Twain

Hardcover

Edited by Charles Neider

I was never in a fashionable gambling hell until I came here. I had read several millions of descriptions of such places, but the reality was new to me. I very much wanted to see this animal, especially the new historic game of baccarat, and this was a good place, for Aix ranks next to Monte Carlo for high play and plenty of it. But the result was what I might have expected - the interest of the looker-on perishes with the novelty of the spectacle; that is to say, in a few minutes. A permanent and intense interest is acquirable in baccarat, or in any other game, but you have to buy it. You don't get it by standing around and looking on...

The thing I chiefly missed was the haggard people with the intense eye, the haunted look, the desperate mien, candidates for suicide and the pauper's grave. They are in the description, as a rule, but they were off duty that night. All the gamnblers, male and female, old and young, looked abnormally cheerful and prosperous...

The etiquette of the place was difficult to master. In the brilliant and populous halls and corridors you don't smoke, and you wear your hat, no matter how many ladies are in the thick throng of drifting humanity, but the moment you cross the sacred threshold and enter the gambling hell, off the hat must come, and everybody lights his cigar and goes to suffocating the ladies. (-- pgs. 53-54)

monaco

Biblitz applauds the genius that created this exciting transaction, which will allow both parties to profit on the one hand from the established European market while preparing for the return of U.S. online gambling. Well done, everyone!

Riviera

The Rise and Rise of the Cote d'Azur

Hardcover
By Jim Ring

With a territory amounting to little more than five square miles, much of it precipitous and barren, there was little for the Monegasques to live on other than what they could forage directly or indirectly from the sea. Menton and Roquebrune - the latter half village, half castle on the hills above Cap Martin - were part of the principality. The Grimaldis and their people lived on taxes levied on wine, tobacco, lemons and shipping through the port. Then, in 1848 - the year of European revolutions - Roquebrune and Menton played their own small parts by declaring their independence from Monaco. The loss of the tax revenues from the outlying communities led to a crisis that was solved in a remarkable way.

By the middle of the nineteenth centure institutional gambling had established itself in various German principalities, but was illegal in France and Italy. This provided Monaco's incumbent Grimaldi ruler, Prince Charles III, with an opportunity. In 1856 he sanctioned the building of gaming rooms in the principality, and a society was formed to construct and run them under the beguiling name of the Societe Anonyme des Bains de Mer et dur Cercle des Etranger a Monaco. This was astute: it followed the example of the German casinos in suggesting that the first rule of funning a successful casino was to pretend it was a spa. 'The bathing establishment,' wrote the Prince's lawyer and business advisor Monsieur A. Eynaud, 'should in a sense act as a facade for the gambling establishment.' The sort of bathing facilities then popular at French seaside resorts were built, together with gaming rooms, on a promontory a mile from the fortified town called Les Spelugues. (From the chapter, Francois Blanc and the Iron Horse, p. 53).

Atlantic Monthly

POST MORTEM

A Gentleman, of a Kind, Prince Rainier of Monaco (1923-2005)

By Mark Steyn
July/August 2005

In contrast, when Prince Rainier succeeded his grandfather, in 1949, he was taking over an enterprise whose best days appeared well behind it. The pocket principality had suffered from France's legalization of gambling in 1933, after a century of prohibition. It seemed unlikely ever to return to its nineteenth-century heyday, when British music-hall songs hymned its raffish charms.

As I walk along the Bois Boolong
With an independent air
You can hear the girls declare
"He must be a millionaire."
You can hear them sigh and wish
to die,
You can see them wink the other eye
At the Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.


... By the time Fatty ("Fat Little Monaco" as he was known to his schoolmates) succeeded Prince Louis, the men who fancied breaking the bank at Monte Carlo had moved down the coast to Cannes and elsewhere, and the bank itself was near broke. The Societe des Bains de Mer, which ran the casino and hotels, reported huge losses that year. Next the Societe Monegasque de Banques et de Metaux Precieux, which held 55 per cent of Monaco's reserves and much of the Grimaldi fortune, went bust.



... Princess Grace missed movies, and Rainier gave her permission to return to her old job for Hitchcock's Marnie. But his people found the idea vulgar and demeaning, and so High Society remained the House of Grimaldi's last on-camera performance until Princess Stephanie's husband made his film debut with Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium. By then, Rainier was old, stooped, and exhausted; his princess was dead; and his children seemed determined to return the family name to its seedy antecedents. He made his dilapidated casino kingdom briefly romantic, and when he couldn't maintain the romance, he had the satisfaction of knowing that at least he'd made Monaco bankable again. But the thirteenth-century family curse came along for the ride, and in the end it broke the man at Monte Carlo. (-- pgs. 162-163)

With Fondest Regards

Hardcover

By Francoise Sagan

I first became acquainted with gambling one June 21st. Born on the first day of summer, I approached the gaming tables with firm resolve on the evening of my twenty-first birthday. I entered the Palm Beach in Cannes with a godfather on either side of me,



both of whom were amused to witness my debut on the green baize. They did indeed witness the start of my career, but they were not there to see where it led, for by then I had escaped their surveillance and was racing from casino to casino without them. (Opening paragraphs of Games of Chance, pgs. 17-19)