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888 Announces Italian Joint Venture with Endemol Italy

May 13, 2010 (CAP PR Wire) — 888, one of the world’s most popular online gaming entertainment companies, announces a joint venture with Endemol Italy, the largest independent TV production company in Italy, to co-invest in the Italian market.

The agreement will see the launch of a comprehensive gaming offering, operating on, which will benefit from exclusive utilisation of Endemol’s brands in the Italian market, including Big Brother and Deal Or No Deal.

The joint venture, which represents 888’s first major consumer launch in the Italian market, will operate under 888’s licence in Italy. It is planned to launch once the Italian gaming authority provides final regulations for the provision of casino games, expected in the second half of 2010.

The agreement will combine 888’s leading gaming offering, which will be fully localised, and Endemol’s brand strength and media reach.

Gigi Levy, Chief Executive Officer, 888 Holdings, said: “Now that online gaming has become an established and hugely popular form of entertainment, strategic partnerships with media companies are critical for growth, especially in newly regulated markets such as Italy. The combination of our gaming expertise and Endemol’s brands, production capabilities and media assets will create a compelling new gaming offering for Italian consumers. The potential of the Italian market is enormous and this partnership strongly positions us to capitalise on this.”

Paolo Bassetti, President and CEO of Endemol Italy, said: “Endemol has always prided itself at being at the forefront of market evolution. The Italian market represents a huge opportunity for online gaming and Endemol’s brands are ideally suited for this platform. This is an area we have been interested in for some time and as a world leader in online gaming, 888 is the perfect partner.”

Contacts and enquiries
Gigi Levy, Chief Executive Officer
+350 200 49800
Aviad Kobrine, Chief Financial Officer
+350 200 49800
Ann-marie Wilkinson/Andrew Benbow
+44 (0)20 7920 2344

About Endemol
Endemol is a global leader in entertainment programming and the largest independent television and digital production company in the world. Endemol comprises a global network of more than 80 companies in 26 countries and employs about 6,500 people.

Each year the company produces content and partners with more than 400 broadcasters and cross media platforms worldwide. Endemol is also one of the largest independent distributors of formats and finished programming in the world. The company has a growing library of over 2,000 formats and more than 22,000 hours of content across genres including entertainment, reality TV, game shows, animation, comedy, drama, docu-dramas, features and feature films.

Endemol’s credits include international blockbusters formats such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 1 vs. 100, Star Academy and Wipeout. Its growing drama portfolio includes worldwide hits such as Home and Away, Rush, McLeod’s Daughters; Wire in the Blood, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Robin Hood and Nini. Endemol is also behind a wide range of multi-media sports content including football, cricket, rugby and motor racing.

Endemol is owned by Goldman Sachs, Mediacinco and Cyrte, which acquired the company in May 2007.