Bwin.Party Acquisition Deal Drama Still Not Over



Staff member
May 3, 2008
On Friday last week, 888 Holdings announced that it had agreed to buy the giant online gambling entity, Bwin.Party, after beating its rival bidder GVC Holdings.
However, it was reported today that GVC is still not ready to throw in the towel, and is now considering a last-minute change to its bid in order to get Bwin.Party to reconsider.

888 Holdings’ Friday announcement stated that it had agreed to pay £893.3 million for Bwin.Party in cash and shares. GVC Holdings, with its partner Amaya Gaming (owner of Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker),
had offered Bwin.Party slightly more, however it has been said that Bwin.Party preferred going with 888 due to the lower risk factors and the shared cost and revenue synergies between the two.

GVC’s and Amaya’s offer would have seen Bwin.Party broken up – Amaya would take over online poker operations, while GVC would acquire the sports-betting arm of the company.

However, The Telegraph today reported that GVC Holdings is attempting to make a last-ditch bid without the backing of Amaya.
The group believes that not having Amaya – a group which focuses mainly on grey-area markets – onboard could remove some of the perceived risk and make for a stronger bid.

GVC Holdings shares dropped 6.5% on Monday morning after news broke that the group had still not given up on its Bwin.Party acquisition dream.
A spokesman for the group said: “We’re reviewing our options and we’re not ruling anything out.”

Upon announcing the seemingly closed deal on Friday, 888 Holdings’ chairman, Brian Mattingley said that the enlarged group would benefit from significant enhanced scale.
“We received unanimous board support from the director of Bwin,” he said.

Mattingley said that 888 had been in the industry for a long time and was always on the lookout for “transformational opportunities.”
He said that he believed the deal would create one of the world’s leading online gaming operators.

“This is a significant deal for the industry, as well as 888” he said. “It’s another landmark in the process of consolidation as major players position themselves in a growing market.”

It is predicted that the combined businesses will generate significant costs and revenue synergies for the shareholders of both companies.

Mattingley also said that he believed the deal would provide 888 with the opportunity to create a world-leading online gambling business with a leading position in many locations around the world.

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