GVC and Amaya versus 888 in bwin.party bid

Posted on May 18th, 2015

gvcThings are hotting up in Online Casino Land, with a big merger on the cards. And it´s all revolving around bwin.party which itself is a consolidation of bwin and Party Casino.

888 have been nosing around, and now GVC Holdings and Amaya are linking up to throw their hats in the ring and to spoil the party for their rivals who run 888 Casino.

GVC Holdings and Canadian company Amaya Gaming (of PokerStars fame) have got their heads together for a €1.5bn bid to divvy-up bwin.party.

Amaya already owns Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, and is attracted to the online poker assets and the sports-betting side. It is hatching a plan with GVC (listed on AIM) to pull off a coup with a special purpose vehicle with the aim of  hoovering up the online gambling giant with cash and GVC shares.
Rival online gambling business 888, has already tendered a takeover proposal to bwin.party with cash and shares. So the party´s kicking off at bwin this month.

bwin has been looking at its options since the end of 2014, and with the uncertainty surrounding the General Election now a distant memory, they´ve gone into gear and are exploring their options.

Playtech and William Hill were also thought to have been approached, but both are out of the frame for now.

GVC has some experience in this area- it joined up with William Hill back in 2013 to carve up Sportingbet. Will Hill ended up with the Aussie and Spanish sportsbook and  GVC was left with the riskier assets. They now own what remains of Sportingbet plus Casino Club, a leading online casino for German-speaking markets with over 15,000 players. They also own BetBoo which targets South American visitors.

bwin.party makes around 50% of its money from countries that are described as “grey” when it comes to gambling legislation, which could suit GVC if they have the stomach for it.

Bwin.party was formed in 2011 by a tie up between bwin and partygaming, but the performance has been disappointing. This looks to be the end of the road for them, but which company is going to buy them, only time will tell.

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