Online gaming firm 888 Holdings has announced that it has agreed to purchase rival company Bwin.party Digital Entertainment for a fee believed to be worth approximately $1.4 billion.
The stunning takeover deal, equivalent to €1.29 billion or £900 million, is set to have a huge impact on the online gambling industry and will be the largest acquisition of its kind since Scientific Games bought Bally Technologies in November 2014.
Only earlier this month, it looked certain that GVC Holdings were set to complete a takeover of Bwin.party Digital Entertainment for a higher value of $1.42 billion. However, that deal failed to be completed after talks stalled allowing 888 Holdings to swoop in and finalise their acquisition of the firm.
It has also been confirmed that Bwin’s Chief Executive Norbert Teufelberger would not be taking up a position on the board of the newly formed company but would be continuing in a consultancy role for the board.
888 Holdings was founded back in 1997 in the British Virgin Islands as a company called Virtual Holdings Limited. Since its creation, it has gone on to become the parent company of some of the biggest brand names in the online gambling sector with brands including 888Casino, 888Poker, 888Sport, and 888Bingo.
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment was established in 2011 as a result of a merger between bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc. The company has since gone on to operate its Party Casino and bwin Casino brands in the casino industry as well as brands in other areas of the gambling industry such as Foxy Bingo, Bwin bookmakers, Gamebookers, PartyBets, Cheeky Bingo, Gioco Digitale, and Party Poker.
888 Holdings Chairman Brian Mattingley stated “This is a transformational opportunity for 888 in the consolidating online gaming industry. It delivers a substantial premium to Bwin.party shareholders whilst also giving them the opportunity to participate in this value creation opportunity.”
Bwin Chairman Philip Yea said “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 standalone.”