Results boost 888 bid talks

City A.M. Reporter
ONLINE gaming firm 888 yesterday said talks over a possible takeover by British bookmaker Ladbrokes were continuing after it posted its best quarterly performance since withdrawing from the US market.

“There is a discussion ongoing with Ladbrokes. There’s not a lot of disagreement other than one, which is price, and that may close or may not. That depends on buyer and seller,” said chief executive Gigi Levy, who announced his intention to step down earlier this week.

Ladbrokes was weighing up a higher offer for 888 after an initial proposal failed to win the support of 888’s founding shareholders, the Shaked and Yitshak families, who control 61 per cent of the stock and hold the key to a deal taking place.

888 reported a nine per cent rise in total revenue to $75m (£45.9m)?in the first-quarter boosted by a strong performance from its casino and bingo products and an improved showing in poker, where it has revamped its software and introduced video to the site.

The company added that trading at the start of the second-quarter had been strong.

Shares in 888 lost 2.9 per cent to close at 41.5p yesterday, valuing the business at around £150m.