Online gambling firm 888 clinches deal to buy Bwin.party for $1.4 billion

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(Reuters) – Avi Shake’s Online gambling firm 888 said it would buy peer Bwin.party Digital Entertainment in a cash and stock deal valued at about 898 million pounds ($1.40 billion).

The offer of 104.09 pence per share is at a 1.2 percent premium to Bwin.party’s close on Thursday and consists of 39.45 pence in cash and 0.404 new 888 shares for each Bwin.party share.

888, which rejected a takeover by Britain’s biggest bookmaker William Hill in February, had been battling against a 908 million pound offer from GVC Holdings for Bwin, which put itself up for sale last year.

The deal is the latest in a flurry of M&A activity in the industry, which is expected to accelerate as gambling firms look to protect themselves from increasing tax and regulation pressures and raise investment in marketing and technology.

888 currently has a market capitalisation of 572 million pounds versus 848 million for Bwin, which has struggled with the decline of regulated poker markets in Europe and to realise cost savings since its creation via a merger of sports betting group bwin and online poker group PartyGaming in 2011… READ MORE

 

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