GVC reaches BwinParty acquisition agreement

By Tom Lewis
The boards of GVC and BwinParty have reached an agreement on the terms of GVC’s £1.11bn offer for the operator.

Online gaming group GVC is set to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of BwinParty, with the BwinParty board withdrawing its prior recommendation for shareholders to accept the takeover offer of 888 Holdings.

The BwinParty directors will now recommend that the firm's shareholders vote in favour of the GVC deal.

The offer represents a value of approximately 129.64p per BwinParty share, with BwinParty shareholders entitled to receive 25p in cash and 0.231 new GVC shares for each share they hold.

GVC will finance the cash portion of the deal through a €400m loan from investment firm Cerberus.

Kenneth Alexander, CEO of GVC, said: “GVC is the natural partner for BwinParty 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.”

Chairman of BwinParty, 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in creating substantial value for shareholders, after a carefully managed and diligent review process, the board has withdrawn its recommendation for the 888 offer and is now advising BwinParty shareholders to vote in favour of the offer from GVC.”

888 and BwinParty agreed the terms of a takeover deal worth £898.3m in July.

As a result of the BwinParty board’s change in recommendation in favour of the GVC bid, the 888 takeover agreement has been terminated.

888 could not be reached for immediate comment.

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