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GVC teams with Cerberus for new Bwin.party offer

TAGs: 888 Holdings, Amaya Gaming, bwin.party, Cerberus, GVC Holdings, Jasmine Solana

GVC teams with Cerberus for new Bwin.party offerGVC Holdings PLC is not yet ready to raise the white flag in the Bwin.party bidding war. The AIM-listed gaming company has reportedly united with Cerberus Capital Management for a renewed bid to buy its larger rival.

GVC Holdings PLC refuses to take no for an answer. The Sportingbet owner has reportedly teamed with Cerberus Capital Management and came up with a £1 billion bid to counter rival 888 Holdings PLC’s offer for Bwin.party.

The AIM-listed company previously partnered with Canadian gaming outfit Amaya Gaming Co. and offered £900 million, but Bwin opted for the lower £898.3 million cash offer from 888. On Sunday, however, a Bwin spokesman was quoted by UK’s The Telegraph saying the company is still open any offer that is “attractive, fully financed and deliverable.”

And once again, the undeterred GVC is spurred into action. According to The Sunday Times, the online gaming company is working with the New York-based hedge fund on a revised offer to be submitted this week.

Meanwhile, Amaya’s role in GVC’s renewed Bwin bid is yet to be decided, the report stated. Bwin chairman Philip Yea earlier said the GVC/Amaya offer carried greater risks because it was from a consortium.

The Bwin.party group and 888 Holdings announced on July 17 that they have agreed in a cash and shares deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2015. Bwin.party said that it wants to focus on the potential synergies between the two businesses as opposed to breaking up the company.

888 COO Ital Freiberger said there will be a minimal overlap between the two companies’ core businesses, but 888’s sports betting business will receive a boost with the addition of Bwin’s betting operations.

Meanwhile, the reaction from the online gambling industry is predominantly positive. CalvinAyre.com’s Rafi Farber wrote last week that the deal looks healthy because 888 is already equipped with the technology to power Bwin.party’s online games and the two companies can also cross-market products to their combined user base.

SpringOwl investor Jason Ader also praised the deal, saying 888 was “the best buyer and will realize significant long-term synergy value with the least amount of execution and regulatory risk.”

Aside from its partnership with GVC, Cerberus is also among the private-equity owners of Gala Coral Group, which agreed to a £2.3 billion share-exchange merger with rival bookmaker Ladbrokes PLC last Friday.

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