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888 To Acquire Bwin.Party For $1.4 Billion

Smaller Firm Acquires Rival To Create I-Gaming Giant

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On Friday, the boards of 888 Holdings and Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment announced that the two online gambling companies have reached an agreement to merge. 888 will acquire its larger rival, which includes the prominent PartyPoker brand, in a deal worth $1.4 billion.

The deal is expected to close late this year or early next year.

Both firms are involved with a fledgling U.S. online gaming industry, which includes peer-to-peer poker play. 888 is the technology partner of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which owns the World Series of Poker brand.

888 has the second largest online poker network in the world, according to PokerScout.

888 beat out GVC Holdings and Amaya Gaming Group, the latter of which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt, in the race to acquire Bwin.Party.

“This is a transformational opportunity for 888 in the consolidating online gaming industry, which is expected to grow significantly over the coming years,” Brian Mattingley, the executive chairman of 888 Holdings, said in a press release. “The enlarged group will benefit from significantly enhanced scale, an improved product offering as well as significant cost and revenue synergies. It delivers a substantial premium to bwin.party shareholders whilst also giving them the opportunity to participate in this value creation opportunity.”

Bwin.Party had been in merger talks since November.

 
 
Tags: Poker Business,   888,   Bwin.Party