Online gaming firm Bwin.Party close to takeover

Charlotte Henry
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BWIN.PARTY, the online gaming firm, yesterday said it was entering the final stages on a takeover decision.

In a statement, Bwin said: “The board expects to reach a conclusion over the coming weeks.”

City A.M. has previously detailed the battle for Bwin, which is currently between a £1bn joint bid by GVC Group and Canadian poker giant Amaya, and another from major poker and online gaming firm 888 Group.

Bwin held its annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday. Results for the first quarter of 2015 showed some positive signs for the previously struggling firm.

Total revenue for the quarter was €155.3m (£110m), a six per cent rise on the preceding quarter, but six per cent down on the same time last year.

Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram commented: “There is nothing in these results that I think would frighten off any potential suitors. Perhaps, on the contrary, they might want to get their business done sooner rather than later – just in case this is the beginning of a recovery.”

Bwin shares closed up 2.03 per cent yesterday at 105.5p after rising by as much as six per cent during the day.

If successful, the GVC and Amaya bid would involve a new entity being created, which would then conduct a two year turnaround operation within Bwin before spinning off assets. The 888 Group deal would be a reverse takeover.

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