“Market chatter” suggests that Amaya Gaming is preparing a $1.2 billion takeover of party.bwin, as reported in the Markets Live section of the Financial Times website.
According to FT Alphaville Editor Paul Murphy and Bryce Elder from the FT’s London markets team, the information is being regarded as a “Raw Alert,” ie, information that, in the FT’s own words, “has not been formally tested through traditional journalistic channels (PRs etc).”
“The story might be complete rubbish,” continues the FT disclaimer, “but if we believe there is some substance to it we will say so. Either way, Reader Beware.”
Rumors have, indeed, been swirling for some time about a possible acquisition of bwin,party.
Speaking on Markets Live real-time streaming service, however, Murphy hinted there was credence to the rumors: “… We now think it’s real enough,” he said. “In fact, our usually reliable sources suggest this is all but wrapped up.
“[There have been] lots of rumours of an approach, as repeated a few times in the paper’s influential Bowler Hat column,” he continued. “Though we didn’t have a name. Amaya’s a good name.”
If true, and the acquisition goes ahead, Amaya’s monopoly on the global online poker market would be seemingly unassailable. Amaya became the biggest publicly-traded online gaming company when it completed a $4.9 billion takeover of the Oldford Group, which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt. 95 percent of the acquisition was financed by debt.
However, a report in London’s Evening Standard today suggests that Playtech is also in the race, having “announced a convertible bond issue to raise a €315 million war chest for acquisitions and ‘organic opportunities.’ ”
Rumors have, indeed, been swirling for some time about a possible acquisition of bwin,party. As far back as June, the company was forced to quash allegations in a Bloomberg article that is was up for sale. However, in response to today’s media speculation, bwin.party issued a statement that admitted as much.
“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,” it said. “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.”
Meanwhile, bwin.party’s share price rose 12.52% to 121.3p.
We’ll be sure to bring you updates should an announcement from Amaya or, indeed, Playtech be forthcoming.
What Is The Market Saying On Twitter?
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) November 12, 2014
Shares in online gambling company Bwin.party up 13% after confirming it’s in preliminary talks with number of parties pic.twitter.com/VNPVduv7Ak
— TimesBusiness (@TimesBusiness) November 12, 2014