Anyone that thought Ladbrokes was the one making all the moves and doing all the running in their tempestuous affair with 888.com will have had a rude awakening this weekend as the proposed marriage between the two looked doomed.
For months speculation has been mounting as to whether Ladbrokes will take over the online gambling site but reports in yesterday’s Daily Mail seem to suggest that this won’t be happening any time soon.
The issue seems to be price as with the rapidly falling share price 888 is no longer worth the original £240m price Ladbrokes offered. The Mail quoted a source close to the negotiations saying: “The share price of 888.com was about £1 then whereas it’s more like 40p now. The markets have changed.”
The fact the deals on the rocks might be enough to alert Playtech after they’d earlier offered lower (£210m) than Ladbrokes after the Lads had opened up the bidding.
The online gaming firm also chose today to release their figures for the final quarter of the year and as the doom mongers gathered, they were sadly to be disappointed.
As a group, 888’s total operating income rose to $71m in the quarter, which was 18% up on the previous three-month period. They also announced an increase of 23% from 2009 in accounts to the end of December, as they had 8.7million casino, poker, and sport real money registered accounts.
CEO Gigi Levy said: “We are very pleased with the results delivered during the last quarter of 2010 – especially the record 18% quarterly sequential growth.
“Our marketing activities have driven record numbers of players to our sites, and growth was achieved across our business lines.
“We are particularly encouraged by our poker business, which showed 28% sequential growth.
“2011 has started well and given that our various business initiatives are progressing as planned we expect to grow the business further during the year.”
According to CityAM, they’re also expected to announce that the deal with Ladbrokes is still well and truly on. Won’t be long until 8pm.com then!