Bwin, PartyGaming Looking to Merge

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Bwin, PartyGaming Merger

Austrian sports betting firm Bwin and the world’s 4th largest online poker company, PartyGaming, witnessed their shares jump Thursday morning following news that the two companies may finally merge following months of speculation.

At 1209 GMT, shares in PartyGaming, the world's biggest listed online gaming group by market capitalization, rose 51 pence, or 19.9%, to 308 pence, valuing the company at GBP1.26 billion.

Bwin shares were up EUR8.88, or 24.9%, at EUR44.51, valuing the company at EUR1.58 billion.

The long-expected deal, which will result in a merged entity owned 48.36% and 51.64% by PartyGaming and Bwin shareholders respectively, will create the world's largest listed online gambling business.

Jim Ryan, Chief Executive of PartyGaming and Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of Bwin, will jointly run the merged group as co-chief executives. Teufelberger said his Co-CEO at Bwin, Manfred Bodner, is to leave his position and become a non-executive director.

Commenting on the Proposed Merger, Jim Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of PartyGaming said:

“This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world’s largest listed online gaming business. With market-leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino and games (in particular bingo), the Enlarged Group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cashflow generation and a highly experienced management team.”

Commenting on the Proposed Merger, Norbert Teufelberger, Co-Chief Executive Officer of bwin said:

“This merger of equals makes great strategic, operational and financial sense.  We will be in pole position to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities that will flow from the continued evolution and expansion of the global online gaming industry.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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