Online gambling pioneer Easybets - which has an operation in Birmingham - has been snapped up in a deal worth £17.7 million by an American gaming specialist.
BETonSPORTS has acquired the business which was established in 1997 and trades under the names Easybets.com, 248Casino.com, UK248.co.uk and G248.com.
David Carruthers, chief executive of BETonSPORTS, said Easybets would help the company's drive to take advantage of the growing Asian market.
The newly acquired business had some 100,000 customer who are predominantly Asian based, with 70 per cent from China.
Mr Carruthers said: "We have reviewed a number of business since flotation and Easybets satisfies our prudent acquisition criterion in terms of proven profitability, strong local knowledge, IT integration and risk management."
Easybets' founder Tim Lambe, aged 43, will spearhead further growth in Asia and consolidate Easybets' position in China.
He said: "I am delighted to become part of the BETon-SPORTS group, a brand that is recognised as a market leader in its home market.
"The considerable strength, marketing and financial expertise as well as infrastructure of BETonSPORTS will allow us to fuel our ambitious plans in the Asian region."
The company, which has a Birmingham office specialising in risk management as well as international centres, was sold for $15 million (£8.2 million), comprising two thirds cash and one third shares.
A share and profits agreement means the total value of the deal could rise to a maximum of $32.5 million (£17.7 million).
BETonSPORTS yesterday revealed results for the year to February 6 and named flotation on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) for $44 million (£24.1 million) as among its highlights.
Profits before tax were $13 million (£7.3 million) compared with $ 27 million (£14.7 million) in 2004.
The company said issues facing the USA sports betting industry in November 2004 - including unexpected advertising restrictions --had provided a significant challenge.
However, a "stringent review of procedures, people and marketing avenues" had been undertaken which had strengthened the company.
BETonSPORTS say Easybets will help the diversification of its customer base and expand the range of sports events available.