BUSINESS

Sportingbet and Hills/GVC granted extension; Plumbee signs JV with betting firm; 888 leaves France

TAGs: 888 Holdings, arjel, France, GVC Holdings, Microgaming, Plumbee, Sportingbet, William Hill

news in brief may 2William Hill and GVC Holdings’ joint bid to takeover Sportingbet is to roll on for a while longer after the latter applied for an extension to the takeover panel’s Dec. 18 deadline. The longest takeover saga in recent memory is still rolling on with news breaking the panel responsible has granted yet another extension to talks that began back in Sept. The new deadline is in three days time on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. and it’s being done to “enable the parties to conclude their on-going discussions regarding a possible offer for Sportingbet”. The new extension comes after Hills/GVC managed to barter down Sportingbet on price after the firm released a shocking set of results immediately prior to one of the many deadlines. As it stands, the two sides came to a “conditional agreement” on Dec. 4 that valued the company at £485million.

Sportingbet and social games developer Plumbee have announced the launch of a joint venture entitled Bonza Gaming. The JV, which signals Plumbee’s first entry into the real-money gaming space, is being led by Rick Brownlow, the former head of mobile at Sportingbet and offers poker, bingo and casino games. Sportingbet’s CEO Andy McIver explained that it’s taken them 12 months to evaluate “how best to enter into this exciting space” and that a partnership was always the preferred choice at Sportingbet. What’s unclear is whether Hills or GVC get to run the JV once Sportingbet is no more.

888 Holdings head a group of four firms that have become the latest to pull out of the French market. 888, along with Ad Astra, Sofun Gaming and Betkup.fr, all handed back their licences to ARJEL and it goes to show the market is continuing to decline. 888 and Ad Astra leaving means that Pokersubito.fr, the site they ran together, is also gone and it signals the end of the poker network joint venture between 888 and Microgaming.

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