Wednesday July 8,2015 : G.V.C. HOLDINGS OFFERS GBP 900 MILLION FOR BWIN.PARTY
And online betting company issues a positive trading update.
The Financial Times has expanded on the GVC Holdings announcement in May this year that it had combined with Amaya to make an acquisition proposal for Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.
The FT report Tuesday is being widely quoted in the British business media and claims that the two companies have offered GBP 900 million (about US$ 1.39 billion) in cash and stock for Bwin.Party. The deal values Bwin.Party shares at around 110p
GVC would likely launch a share placement to help fund its bid, the FT speculated.
Bwin.Party is also exploring a sale to online gaming rival 888 Holdings, the newspaper noted.
Consolidation in the gaming industry has gathered pace as high taxes and increased regulation in some of the biggest markets has hurt companies. Last month, Ladbrokes confirmed it was in merger talks with rival Gala Coral. Earlier this year, William Hill made a GBP 700 million unsuccessful bid for 888
Bwin.Party revealed last November that it was considering a range of proposals from interested parties.
GVC Holdings and Bwin.Party have not yet responded to the FT article.
Shares in Bwin rose 0.4 percent to 100.6p Tuesday, giving the company a market value of GBP 823 million.
In related news, GVC Holdings issued a generally positive H1 trading update Wednesday covering the six months to 30 June 2015, and announcing a quarterly dividend of 14 Euro cents per share…that's in addition to the 12.5 Euro cents declared on 12 January 2015 and the 15.5 Euro cents declared on 23 March 2015, bringing the total declared for the year to date to 42 Euro cents, 5 percent higher than at the same period last year.
The company announced record trading, with sports wagers up by 19 percent to Euro 823 million (H1-2014: Euro 694 million) but the aggregate sports margin lower at 8.9 percent (H1-2014: 9.9 percent).
Net Gaming Revenue reached Euro120million in the period, up 14 percent on the same period last year despite the benefit, in June 2014 alone, of 54 additional football fixtures in the World Cup.
Customer deposits rose significantly, reaching Euro 1.7million per day in H1-2015, 18 percent – higher than H1-2014 (Euro 1.5million).
"The second quarter of 2015 showed a particularly pleasing result with sports wagers averaging Euro 4.5million per day (Q2-2014: Euro 3.9 million), and NGR averaging Euro 661,000 per day (Q2-2014: Euro 602,000). This strength in trading continued into June with NGR higher than that for June 2014 when the World Cup was being played," Management reported.
The trading update reefers briefly to the negotiations with Bwin.Party, noting:
"As announced on 15 May 2015, GVC has submitted a proposal with a view to the Group acquiring the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Bwin.Party. This proposal would be jointly financed by GVC and Amaya, Inc and involves new debt facilities and the issue of new shares. Talks with Bwin.Party are continuing, although there can be no certainty that such talks will result in an offer being made. GVC will provide a further update for shareholders as and when appropriate."
The company also discusses the deteriorating Greek financial situation, observing:
"GVC has a presence in the Greek market via its partner, Centric Multimedia S.A. Following the recent imposition of capital controls by the government restricting the movement of funds both within and outside of Greece, the company notes that it has registered a softening in player activity in that territory.
"GVC continues to monitor events. However it is too early to forecast what, if any, the implications will be, and whether they will have a material effect on the second half of the financial year for our Greek operations."
GVC's chief executive, Kenneth Alexander, said: "Wagers, NGR and customer deposits continue to grow and the Board remains confident for the outlook for the remainder of the year and beyond."