888 share price bounces as it agrees to buy Bwin.party for £900m

Emma Haslett
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Party time? The offer values Bwin.party at just shy of £900m (Source: Getty)

888 put it all on red, and has now emerged triumphant, having agreed to buy rival Bwin.party for £898.3m.

That values Bwin.party at 104.09p per share, a premium of 16.4 per cent to the closing price on 14 May, the original day the offer was made. Since then, shares have risen as high as 108p on speculation that a deal was underway.

Under the terms of the offer, Bwin.party shareholders will receive 39.45p in cash and 0.404 shares in the newly-plumped 888, although shareholders can vary the amount of each they'll receive, if they so desire.

The pair said the offer represents a "transformational opportunity", with both sides benefiting from "significantly enhanced scale, an enhanced product offering and significant cost and revenues synergies", which are expected to amount to $70m (£45m) a year by the end of 2018.

They're also exploring the idea of spinning-off Bwin.party's highly-prized technology arm into a separately listed vehicle called "Studios".

Shares in 888 jumped 4.5 per cent in morning trading, to 167.25p. Meanwhile, Bwin.party shares slid 0.4 per cent to 102.5p

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