Internet betting firm Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has announced that they have decided to approve a bid for its company by GVC Holdings, despite having previously stating that they preferred a bid from 888.
The boards of both companies announced that they have reached a deal based on the terms put forth by GVC, meaning that the company will absorb the entire capital share of Bwin. Bwin shareholders will be paid a share price of 25 pence in cash as well as 0.231 of new GVC shares. The accepted offer values Bwin at 129.64 per share and has a net value of £1.116 billion.
Commenting on the deal Bwin Chairman Philip Yea said, "In recommending the offer from GVC, the Board has taken into account many factors including, but not limited to, the headline value per share and the consideration being offered, the level, timing and deliverability of the financial synergies to be generated and the enlarged Group's growth strategy in an increasingly competitive marketplace. As a result of these and other factors, including the proven track record of GVC's management team in creating substantial value for shareholders, after a carefully managed and diligent review process, the Board has withdrawn its recommendation for the 888 offer and is now advising bwin.party shareholders to vote in favour of the Offer from GVC."
GVC Holdings CEO Kenneth Alexander also commented on the deal, saying: "GVC is the natural partner for bwin.party considering our strong sports betting and online gaming pedigree. Sports betting is in our DNA and leveraging GVC's experience of successfully acquiring and restructuring online gaming businesses, notably Sportingbet in 2013, we look forward to merging the two operations to deliver long term value for combined shareholders. GVC has been working closely with bwin.party's management and has identified many talented individuals with whom it looks forward to working to ensure the future success of the enlarged business."
Bwin's board had previously favored a proposal from 888, which was valued at £898 million. That revelation caused GVC to increase its bid multiple times, even causing Alexander to discuss the possibility of undertaking a hostile takeover if Bwin did not accept their latest offer.
Bwin has posted a video regarding their decision to YouTube, which can be viewed below: