Friday May 15,2015 : BWIN – G.V.C. CONFIRM ACQUISITION NEGOTIATIONS IN PROGRESS (Update)
The rumours were true…but there are other suitors.
Speculation that the European online gambling group Bwin Party Digital Entertainment was in talks with a sale in mind have been circulating since last November, and rose to a fever pitch this week, with media reports sending the share price northwards.
The name that keeps cropping up is GVC Holdings, which teamed up on the Sportingbet acquisition last year with William Hill and has let it be known that it remains on the acquisition trail.
On Friday GVC and Bwin Party issued very similar statements reconfirming to the market that they were in talks.
The Bwin statement referred to the media speculation and said that it is continuing its discussions with GVC and "a number of third parties", adding that GVC has submitted a revised set of proposals regarding a variety of possible business combinations.
The GVC statement revealed that the group has submitted a proposal for the acquisition of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment in its entirety. The company also noted that if the proposed transaction were to be approved, the acquisition would be treated as a reverse takeover that would require the approval of the shareholders.
Both companies have cautioned that there can be no guarantee that these discussions will result in any transaction being completed, and have committed to giving a further update in due course.
London Stock Exchange data on Friday morning portrayed Bwin Party as having a market capitalisation of GBP 805 million, compared with GVC’s market capitalisation of roughly GBP 280 million.