Optimal Group Inc.

Optimal Group Inc.

May 27, 2005 07:45 ET

Optimal Group Announces Successful Completion of FireOne Placing on London's AIM; FireOne Group plc expected to commence trading on AIM on June 2, 2005

MONTREAL--(CCNMatthews - May 27, 2005) -

Optimal Group Inc. (NASDAQ:OPMR), today announced the successful placing of ordinary shares of FireOne Group plc and the publication by FireOne of a prospectus in relation to the previously announced flotation of FireOne on the London Stock Exchange's AIM Market.

Optimal Group has placed 10 million ordinary FireOne shares, representing 20% of FireOne's issued and outstanding share capital, with UK institutional and other shareholders. The placing price is 241 pence per share, resulting in gross proceeds to Optimal Group of 24.1 million British pounds (approximately US$44.0 million).

The offering was led by Numis Securities Limited in London, England.

Shares of FireOne are expected to commence trading upon approval of admission by the AIM Market on June 2, 2005 and will trade under the ticker symbol "FPA".

About Optimal Group Inc.

Optimal Group Inc. is a leading payments and services company with operations throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Through Optimal Payments and FireOne Group, we provide technology and services that businesses require to accept credit card, electronic check and direct debit payments. Optimal Payments processes credit card payments for Internet businesses, mail-order/telephone-order and retail point-of-sale merchants, as well as processing checks and direct debits online and by phone. FireOne Group and its subsidiaries process online gaming transactions through the use of credit and debit cards, electronic debit and through FirePay (www.firepay.com), a leading stored-value, electronic wallet. FirePay is used for non-gaming purchases as well. Through Optimal Services Group, we provide repair depot and field services to retail, financial services and other third-party accounts. For more information about Optimal, please visit the company's website at http://www.optimalgrp.com.

The securities of FireOne Group plc have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States except pursuant to a registration statement under that Act or an exemption from the registration requirements of that Act. No offer or invitation to acquire shares in FireOne Group plc or Optimal Group Inc. is being made by or in connection with this release. Any such offer will be made solely by means of an admission document to be published in accordance with the AIM rules of the London Stock Exchange plc in due course and any acquisition of shares should be made solely on the basis of the information contained in such prospectus and any supplements thereto. The value of shares can go down as well as up. Persons needing advice should consult a professional adviser.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements in this release that are "forward-looking statements" are
based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to
risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially
because of factors such as the following: our ability to retain key
personnel is important to our growth and prospects; we may be unable
to find suitable acquisition candidates and may not be able to
successfully integrate businesses that may be acquired into our
operations; our contracts for hardware maintenance and repair
outsourcing services may not be renewed or may be reduced; our
hardware maintenance and repair outsourcing services business is
affected by computer industry trends; our hardware maintenance and
repair outsourcing services business operates in a market subject to
rapid technological change; our per incident hardware maintenance and
repair outsourcing services revenues are variable; we operate in a
highly competitive market and there is no assurance that we will be
able to compete successfully against current or future competitors; we
rely on single suppliers for some of our inventory; we may not be able
to accurately predict our inventory requirements; our hardware
maintenance and repair outsourcing services business may be subject to
unforeseen difficulties in managing customers' equipment; our hardware
maintenance and repair outsourcing services business may fail to price
fixed fee contracts accurately; our payments business is at risk of
loss due to fraud and disputes; our payments business may not be able
to safeguard against security and privacy breaches in our electronic
transactions; our payment system might be used for illegal or improper
purposes; we must comply with credit card and check clearing
association rules and practices which could impose additional costs
and burdens on our payments business; we may not be able to develop
new products that are accepted by our customers; the failure of our
systems, the systems of third parties or the internet could negatively
impact our business systems or our reputation; the legal status of
internet gaming is uncertain and future regulation may make it costly
or impossible to continue processing for gaming merchants; we face
uncertainties with regard to lawsuits, regulations and similar
matters; increasing government regulation of internet commerce could
make it more costly or difficult to continue our payments business; we
rely on strategic relationships and suppliers; it may be costly and/or
time-consuming to enforce our rights with respect to assets held in
foreign jurisdictions; our ability to protect our intellectual
property is key to the future growth of our payments business; we
operate in a competitive market for our products and services; our
business systems are based on sophisticated technology which may be
negatively affected by technological defects and product development
delays; our payments business relies upon encryption technology to
conduct secure electronic commerce transactions; the ability of our
payments business to process electronic transactions depends on bank
processing and credit card systems; we are subject to exchange rate
fluctuations between the U.S. and Canadian dollars; we may be subject
to liability or business interruption as a result of unauthorized
disclosure of merchant and cardholder data that we store; our business
is subject to fluctuations in general business conditions; we may be
subject to additional litigation stemming from our operation of the
U-Scan self-checkout business.

For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with our business, please refer to the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", "Legal Proceedings" and "Forward Looking Statements" sections of our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the SEC.

All information in this release is as of May 27, 2005. We undertake no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in our expectations.

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