Bwin.Party attracts a flutter after talk of sale or break-up


Bwin.Party attracts a flutter after talk of sale or break-up - 26th June 2014

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Punters rolled the dice on Bwin.Party today, as it emerged the online-gaming group is mulling a shake-up.

Bwin.Party, which has been facing pressure to make changes from US activist investor SpringOwl, rocketed as much as 9% after reports emerged that the company has hired Deutsche Bank to consider a possible sale or break-up of the business.

The company, which runs online poker and sports-betting websites, swiftly denied any plans for a sale or spin-offs, but said Philip Yea, the former boss of private-equity firm 3i, who became Bwin chairman in April, is looking at “ways in which the group can increase shareholder value”.

While not as appetising as a break-up, investors were still taken with the possibilities and Bwin added 4p to 96.75p.

After three days of losses the FTSE 100 inched higher today, buoyed by bullish US trading overnight. The blue-chip index rose 0.62 points to 6734.24.

AA was given a helping hand by retail punters on its first day of unconditional trading. The roadside rescue giant, which fell below its 250p float price on debut, ticked up 5p to 241.5p.

Another dry well in Gabon knocked 11p off Ophir Energy’s price to 229.65p. It marks four duds out of the five wells Ophir has drilled in the last six months. Liberum said it’s “not too late to switch to Afren”, down 0.6p at 140.45p.

Imagination Technologies was buoyed by full-year figures earlier in the week, but the microchip designer lost 10.6p to 226.4p today thanks to a Barclays downgrade.

The bank flagged concerns over the “inconsistency between a conservative, near-term outlook and the level of optimism built into long-term targets”.

Dublin-based miner Kenmare Resources leapt 1.75p to 13.87p on the small-cap index after Australian Iluka Resources confirmed it has approached the company over a possible tie-up.

A lull in summer booking for AIM-listed travel operator Dart Group means operating profits for the year ahead are likely to be below expectations, the company warned today.

Dart, which operates the Jet2 travel brand, hiked its divided by 47% to 2.74p in light of a solid performance in the year just gone but couldn’t stop shares falling 63p to 187.5.

Online-gambling group Sportech bounced 5p to 89.75p after announcing that the taxman has handed it back £93 million as part of a long-running VAT dispute over its “Spot the Ball” game. The company could get a further £3 million from HMRC if an ongoing appeal goes its way.