An article in the Financial Times on Tuesday claims GVC Holdings has offered just over £900 million to purchase bwin.party entertainment plc although neither company has confirmed this amount.
Rumours about a potential takeover of bwin.party have circled for months, with the first real credible news coming in May 2015 when both 888Holdings and GVC Holdings – the latter aided by PokerStars’ owner Amaya Gaming – confirmed they had placed bids thought to be in the region of £1 billion.
However, the Financial Times claims people familiar with the proposed offer put the figure just north of £900 million, valuing each of the £824.10 million bwin.party shares at around 110p each.
According to a forum poster on the London South East financial website, SpringOwl, the company of activist investor Jason Ader and who hold a 5.02% stake in bwin.party, purchased its shares for 126p and is unlikely to agree to a figure much lower than that. If this is the case, a bid of around £1.03 billion would be suffice, a premium of around 25% over the current share price of 98.00.
Should either GVC or bwin.party confirm the £900 million figure, it will be interesting to see how 888Holdings responds. Earlier this year, 888Holdings rejected a $1.14 billion takeover offer from rival William Hill after key shareholders turned down the offer of 200p per share, aledgedly holding out for 300p per share.
It is not only this deal that is on the table because further consolidation of the British gambling industry is expected with Ladbrokes and Gala Coral being in merger talks. Both companies confirmed preliminary talks have begun, but no further information has been divulged by either camp.