The Board of Directors at bwin.party were forced to issue a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday as speculation about a possible takeover bid boiled over and became public knowledge.
The statement reads:
“Further to recent media speculation regarding a possible bid for bwin.party, the Board of bwin.party confirms that it has entered into preliminary discussions with a number of interested parties regarding a variety of potential business combinations with a view to creating additional value for bwin.party shareholders.
Such discussions may or may not result in an offer being made for the Company. However, as all such discussions remain at a preliminary stage, there can be no certainty as to whether or not they will result in any form of transaction with any party.”
According to an article on the Financial Times Alphaville, it is Amaya Gaming Group who the potential buyers of what was once the largest publically traded online gaming company in the world. Amaya, of course, are the owners of bwin.party's partypoker's rivals PokerStars and Full Tilt.
Paul Murphy of the Financial Times wrote in his article, “We believe the bidder here is Amaya Gaming Group” and the potential price would be 145p per share, valuing the company at around £1.19 billion.
However, an article appearing in the London Evening Standard claims it is Playtech who are looking to acquire bwin.party after it announced it was raising a €315 million war chest for acquisitions and “organic opportunities.”
Bwin.party have so far declined to comment on who preliminary talks are with, but Amaya is set to publish its financial figures on November 14 so if it is one of the potential buyers we would expect an announcement before then.
It will be interesting to see if it is Amaya or Playtech looking at the buyout and what plans each company would have for bwin.party.
The stock market reacted positively to the news and bwin.party's share price rose 12.52% to 121.3p.
PokerNews will have more on this story as it develops.