888 to Bid for Bwin Party

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In a surprising chain of events, it looks like bingo and casino giant Bwin Party, most famous for Foxy Bingo and Foxy Casino, could be bought over very soon. One party who has made its interest in a takeover clearly known is gaming giant 888 Holdings.

888 is seen to be the biggest online gaming rival to Bwin, so it’s unclear whether the bid is an attempt to eliminate competition, or to combine efforts to become an unstoppable online gaming force. Together, both of these online gaming businesses could form a merger which would see the sole company being worth over £1 billion.

Bwin Party was initially put up for sale in November 2014, and has had a number of parties already express interest in a purchase. For example Canadian gaming organisation Amaya, the company behind online casino giants Pokerstars, previously noted interest, as did well known casino software supplier Playtech.

However over the last couple of months, it seems that the noise from the 888 camp has been louder than anywhere else. The strange thing about this bid is that if it were to be successful, it would almost be classed as a reverse takeover as Bwin is actually worth more than 888 at present.

The benefits of a takeover

There are benefits on both the side of 888 and Bwin in this takeover. Obviously any bid made would result in a lump cash sum to Bwin owners. However 888 possibly stand to benefir more from a takeover, as Bwin are not only worth more, but have a larger sports betting business than 888, meaning that a takeover would expand 888’s operations significantly, in all aspects but in particular the sports betting department.

As a merged company, there will be significant cost savings made across the operations, on things such as licensing. As a sole company, brands could operate under a blanket license and could take advantage of reduced market spending to get their message across.

What does this mean for Bwin casino players?

At the moment there is absolutely no change for Bwin casino players. Whilst the bid is in motion the only people it could affect are shareholders as the price could fluctuate. If the bid is successful, it’s still likely that not much will change. Even with a new parent company, the casino brands currently owned by Bwin will still appear the same on the outside, with the same software and games, not to mention login details for players.

However in the long term it’s possible that Bwin players could look forward to change of software and different offerings to keep in line with the 888 sites. This could be anything from following the same mobile and app format making it easier for mobile players to use the sites on the go, to introducing networked promotions and deals from the wider 888 casino network.

Other  gaming companies which have been taken over

This is not the first bingo site to be taken over and in fact is a role reversal for 888. Earlier in 2015, William Hill made a bid for the company, which eventually broke down in talks over the value of the company. The founders of 888 believed the offer of 200p per share put forward by William Hill was too small and so the offer was thrown out.

That’s not forgetting that Bwin itself is the result of a merger of companies which happened in 2011, between the UK based PartyGaming and Austrian group Bwin.

Other noticeable takeovers include the CVC Capital takeover of Skybet in 2015 and Sportingbet in 2013.

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