group GVC offers to buy larger rival Bwin for £908m
-9th July 2015
born GVC Holdings chief executive Kenny Alexander
is moving closer to pulling off a £908 million
deal to buy bigger online gambling rival Bwin.Party
Alexander, originally from Kilwinning and an accountant,
confirmed GVC has made a proposal for a cash and shares
transaction valuing Bwin at 110 pence per share.
May Bwin received an approach from 888 Holdings about
a potential takeover for an undisclosed sum. As yet
888 has declined to comment on whether it may make
another approach for Bwin.
Nick Batram of Peel Hunt said: "I don't think
110 pence is a price that knocks 888 out of the process,
if they really wanted it but equally they had ample
time to match or better that bid."
than two years ago GVC paid around £31 million
for Sportingbet's operations in a number of countries
as part of a joint deal with William Hill which was
valued at £485m.
noting GVC is still working with Bwin to formalise
an offer Mr Alexander said: "Based on our experience
with the successful Sportingbet acquisition and restructuring,
we believe that the potential combination of GVC and
bwin.party would result in substantial financial and
operating synergies and represent an excellent opportunity
for both GVC and bwin.party shareholders."
Alexander suggested the benefits would not be less
than €80 million.
created by the merger of sports betting group Bwin
and online poker group PartyGaming in 2011, had a
market value of about £816m pounds as of Wednesday's
stock market close, nearly triple that of GVC.
which put itself up for sale last year, said its board
had considered GVC's proposal and would work with
the company to finalise the offer over the coming
provides poker services through its main brand partypoker,
along with Bwin poker and the World Poker. It also
has brands such as Foxy Bingo and partycasino. The
group has had to cope with regulatory pressures in
the poker market in Europe.
been a very difficult market for Bwin but its also
been a very difficult market for everyone," Mr
added: "From the GVC perspective, one that excites
me the most is Bwin's sports betting brand and that's
the brand with enormous potential."
bid is being backed by Canadian gaming company Amaya,
which last year bought online gambling sites PokerStars
and Full Tilt Poker.
Alexander said: "Amaya is providing some of the
funding to the deal and will obviously take some of
the assets from the deal."
Alexander was part of the Kilmarnock Futures Consortium
of business people which looked at buying Kilmarnock
Football Club, the team he supports.
has been chief executive of Isle-of-Man based GVC
since 2007 and prior to that held senior roles at