Investors in online gambling giant bwin.party digital entertainment plc, owners of the partypoker brand, received some positive news earlier this week when the company released its pre close trading update to the London Stock Exchange.
It is fair to say that bwin.party has been struggling of late, in fact, that may be a huge understatement. When the company released its Q3 trading update at the end of October 2015, it showed total revenue had fallen 8% year-on-year with only its bingo arm increasing.
This latest update is far more positive with the company announcing its net revenue for the fourth quarter has increased by 4% when compared to the same period in 2014. However, this figure would have been 8% had bwin.party not been subjected to the European Union’s VAT hike.
A stronger sports betting and casino performance, along with continued cost saving exercises are the main areas where bwin.party excelled in Q4 2015, particularly via mobile channels. The company is also set for a €10 million windfall in the second quarter of 2016 thanks to its Kalixa Payments Group being a principal member of Visa Europe, which is set to be acquired for €21.2 billion by Visa Inc. All principle members of Visa Europe are set to receive a share of the upfront consideration, and if they remain a principle member in for the duration of the four-year earn-out period they’ll receive another payment.
The statement ends with the directors’ outlook for the coming months and reads:
“Based upon recent trading performance, the forthcoming Euro Championship in 2016 and the full year benefit of cost savings already achieved in 2015, the Board believes that the Group’s prospects are strong, and these will be enhanced yet further by the proposed combination with GVC Holdings PLC.”
GVC Takeover Expected to Complete on February 1
On December 15, 2015, shareholders in bwin.party voted unanimously to approve the proposed takeover of the company by GVC Holdings Plc. A staggering 99.99% of shareholders voted for the takeover to be completed, and a date of February 1, 2016 with the new GVC shares being admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange on the following day.
Those holding shares in bwin.party at the time of the takeover receives £0.25 per share and 0.231 GVC shares.