PartyGaming valued at 4.64 billion pounds

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Institutional investors in the UK and Europe agreed to buy 781.6 million ordinary shares, or 20.6 per cent, of the Gibraltar-based company at 116p, in the biggest floatation in London since the dotcom boom.

The shares traded as high as 129p during their first day of conditional trading, making the online poker company

, founded just eight years ago, now worth more than British Airways, Europe\’s third-biggest airline.

“We are delighted to be floating PartyGaming at a price that was within our set price range, with a book that was more three-times covered, and with a high quality shareholder register,” said Chief Executive Richard Segal.

“The listing will reinforce the group\’s position as one of the world\’s leading online gaming companies and enhance the group\’s profile as we seek to expand internationally.”

Unconditional trading is due to start on June 30.