A Gibraltar-based online poker and gambling operator bwin.party confirmed that it has entered into preliminary discussions with a number of interested parties for a possible sale, which is why we decided to ask our readers, “Who will buy bwin.party?”
44% of our readers said, “Amaya”, 25%, voted, “Playtech” while 19% said “No one” and 13% for “Other.”
Stock analysts at Financial Times Alphaville wrote that they believed Amaya had proposed a 145p per share buyout of bwin.party, which would amount to approximately £1.2 billion. The London Evening Standard, on the other hand, pointed the finger at Playtech, primarily based on recent statements that the brand was setting aside €315 million for acquisition purposes.
The online gaming company released an official statement regarding the speculation on Nov 12 at bwinparty.com titled “Media Speculation” saying:
Further to recent media speculation regarding a possible bid for bwin.party, the Board of bwin.party confirms that it has entered into preliminary discussions with a number of interested parties regarding a variety of potential business combinations with a view to creating additional value for bwin.party shareholders. Such discussions may or may not result in an offer being made for the Company. However, as all such discussions remain at a preliminary stage, there can be no certainty as to whether or not they will result in any form of transaction with any party.
Shares of bwin.party (Pwin), the online gambling powerhouse resulting from the merger of bwin and Party Gaming, have seen a record low but the company’s shares jumped up 10% (to 119.1p) after the emerging rumor of a possible takeover.
Bwin.party was once listed as the largest publicly traded online-gambling company in the world but that position was lost several years ago. By 2012, the company saw earnings fall 17% to €164.9m—the first full year of operation since the merger of Bwin and PartyGaming. According to the company’s 2014 Q3 reports, while the brand’s sports betting offerings rose 11% from the same period in 2013, poker, casino, and bingo products all suffered a loss. Online poker revenue saw the greatest decline, having fallen 25% in the last 12 months. However, the report showed an overall increase of 2% in revenue, which substantiates the company’s claims that entertaining offers does not necessarily mean an acquisition for bwin.party’s future.
The company has declined to comment on details of interested parties but aside from Amaya and Playtech, William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes were all tipped as potential suitors.
Next week, we ask, “Will another league commissioner come out in support of sports betting before the Super Bowl?” as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver states his desire to bring sports betting “out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated. Check back next week to see what our readers think.