In the wake of the Bwin/PartyGaming merger news, there’s a PDF up on their site that’s being used to sell skeptical shareholders on the (theoretical) benefits of the deal, and it’s an interesting read. For instance, listed prominently on their ‘roadmap’ is the plan to “further consolidate the online gaming sector through M&A.” In other words, the new fat kid on the block intends on becoming even fatter. (Could a PartyPastry offshoot be far off? Perhaps a fluffy golden cream-filled concoction called Bwinkies?)
The talk is not all about gorging and growing — one area in which the behemoth will be getting smaller is its roster of key staff members, as the merger is expected to result in a combined cull of some €30-40M off their payroll. That’s a lot of talented people suddenly on the dole and private companies like Bodog Europe expect to take full advantage by snapping up (a) staff who have been cut loose, and (b) those who rightly fear they will be made redundant in the next big merger, regardless of how many years of service they’ve devoted to their present employer.
In short, we stand by our earlier prediction that the people most likely to welcome this news will not be Bwin or Party shareholders, but their competitors in the online gambling marketplace. The fusion of the two entities into a whole removes one significant competitor from the arena, and dumps a lot of disgruntled ex-soldiers onto the city streets to search for another army who better appreciates their talents (and the trade secrets they might also bring with them). Not to mention that for the next year or so, senior execs at this new company will be so distracted with changing the letterhead and issuing new business cards and figuring out who gets the corner offices that they’re not likely to be bothered with pesky shit such as product innovation and the like. But hey, onward and outward, right?