888 wins race for Bwin.Party

888-bwin-partyAnother day, another M&A announcement.

This one’s a biggie. 888 Holdings have successfully outbid GVC/Amaya to acquire Bwin.Party Entertainment in a cash and shares deal worth around £898 million.

Under the deal, announced just this morning, Bwin.Party shareholders will get 39.45p and 0.404 new 888 shares for each share they own, or around 104.9p per Bwin share based on 888’s current share price.

The market seems to like the news, with 888’s share price jumping 5% in early trade today (there’s more value for you Bwin holders!). So too do the bosses at Bwin.Part and 888.

From Bwin.Party CEO Philip Yea:

“Bringing our two groups together will generate substantial financial synergies for the benefit of both sets of shareholders and create a strong player with the breadth of product, brands and geographic coverage to grow faster than either business would be able to achieve stand-alone.”

And 888’s Brian Mattingley:

“This is a transformational opportunity for 888 in the consolidating online gaming industry, which is expected to grow significantly over the coming years.”

Obligatory talk of synergies would appear well justified in this case. Analysts have estimated that cost savings resulting from the combined entity would amount to around $70 million per year by 2018. That’s definitely going to help combat the dreaded new UK POC!

Live dealer enthusiasts among you will know that the combined entity will own 3 different live casinos (888 live, Bwin live and Party Casino), all powered by Evolution Gaming and including a whole bunch of private tables. Lets hope this isn’t seen as an area where cost savings can be found!

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