888 looks set to win the race to acquire rival online gaming operator bwin.party after agreeing a cash and stock deal worth approximately £898.3 million (€1.3 billion/$1.4 billion).
As reported by iGaming Business, 888 earlier this week confirmed it was to launch a last-ditch effort to acquire bwin.party, despite GVC Holdings having already put forward an offer for the operator. GVC, in partnership with Amaya Gaming, submitted an offer of 110 pence per share, a bid that valued the company at approximately £900 million.
Despite bwin.party having responded positively to the bid, stating that it would work with GVC to establish a final offer, the operator has seemingly dropped its interest in the bid in favour of 888’s proposal. 888 has offered 104.09 pence per share, a premium of 16.4% on the closing price on May 14 when the reverse takeover bid was first made.
Under the terms of 888’s offer, bwin.party shareholders will receive 34.45 pence in cash and 0.404 shares in 888, with each shareholder given the option to vary the amount they receive through the deal. Senior staff from both 888 and bwin party have spoken positively about the deal, stating that it offers a “transformational opportunity” for the brands.
“This is a transformational opportunity for 888 in the consolidating online gaming industry, which is expected to grow significantly over the coming years,” 888 executive chairman Brian Mattingley said.
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