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Poker Business: Higher Bid Put Forth For Bwin.Party

GVC Holdings Raises The Stakes

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Less than two weeks ago, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment accepted a cash and stock deal with 888 Holdings worth $1.4 billion that would result in the two companies merging, with 888 management at the helm. On Monday, the firm that lost out on the hunt to acquire Bwin.Party has offered $1.55 billion, according to Reuters.

Bwin.Party had already turned down a slightly larger bid from GVC Holdings and Amaya Gaming, and now GVC has upped the stakes and is going it alone in the quest to buy Bwin.Party.

GVC is an Isle of Man-based sports betting and gaming company. Its core brands include CasinoClub, Betboo and Sportingbet, according to Reuters.

According to the report, 888, which is the technology partner of Caesars Interactive Entertainment and its World Series of Poker brand, is likely to come back with a higher offer now.

GVC said it would finance the new deal through a combination of new GVC shares and a 400 million-euro ($443 million) senior secured loan from private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, removing Amaya’s involvement and some of the complexity that had worried Bwin…GVC’s offer of 122.5 pence per share, consisting of 25p in cash and the rest in new GVC shares, is 18 percent higher than 888’s offer price of 104.09 pence.

Both 888 and Bwin.Party are involved with online gaming in the state of New Jersey and are poised to be in great position as more states legalize web casino games.

PartyPoker is the technology partner of the Borgata in Atlantic City, a casino owned by MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming. Bwin.Party has a deal in place for future California online poker as well thanks to partnering with a Native American Tribe.

PartyPoker, once the largest poker site in the world, left U.S. cyberspace in the wake of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Thanks to leaving, the firm had little trouble re-entering when U.S. states decided to regulate the industry within their respective borders.