Starnet Communications International Inc., one of the pacesetters in the online gaming business, yesterday relocated to the England and changed its name to World Gaming plc.
The move is part of the company's reorganization plans first announced in October of 2000.
The newly named company has been incorporated in the United Kingdom, a generally online gaming-friendly jurisdiction.
The company's new CEO, Michael Aymong, said in a statement that the announcement is more than just a name change. "Today's announcement is only the first step in a corporate reorganization focused on reasserting our position in the international I-gaming industry,'' Aymong said. "Today we are not merely changing logos and stationery; we are creating an entirely new organization and culture committed to doing all of the things necessary to ensure strong international growth and enhanced shareholder value.''
Officials at World Gaming, which now has offices in London, Vancouver, Gibraltar and Antigua, feel that the new name is more conducive to the company's approach.
Aymong says the renaming is just the beginning of the final phase of the company's reorganization plan.
"Management has made clear commitments to sound business practices and leadership, a strong sales and customer focus and accelerated product development cycles and innovation,'' he said. "In the coming weeks, we will be announcing a number of key management appointments that will be important to achieving our ambitious goals.''
With operations based in the United Kingdom, the company says it will be able to take a much more global approach than it previously could. It will especially be targeting the Asian market.
In connection with the reorganization, World Gaming has obtained United States Securities and Exchange Commission registration of American depositary shares evidenced by American depositary receipts (ADRs) for World Gaming plc. ADRs are negotiable U.S. securities that represent a non-U.S. company's publicly traded equity. Their prices are quoted in U.S. dollars and will settle in the same manner U.S. shares do. The World Gaming ADRs are traded on the Nasdaq and over the counter just as the Starnet Communications shares were in the past. In connection with the reorganization, each Starnet shareholder has received one ADR of World Gaming plc in exchange for each share of Starnet common stock.
In conjunction with the name change, gaming investment expert John M. Dutton says the company is on solid ground. "We rate the shares of Starnet International (World Gaming plc) a strong speculative buy for accounts with high risk tolerance," he said in a research note for Investrend.