After speculating another offer might be in the works last week, GVC Holdings started this week off strong, sending in a proposal to acquire bwin.party for $1.55 billion. An offer was accepted by the board of bwin.party Digital Entertainment from 888 Holdings, but now it seems GVC might be back in the game.
Bwin was first put up for sale in 2014 and just recently accepted an offer by 888, on online casino and poker firm; subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The deal was worth close to 900 million pounds and was slightly less than the competing bid by GVC, who was working with Amaya Gaming as a financial backer for the deal. It is believed by some that bwin did not accept the more lucrative offer due to the involvement of Amaya Gaming, balanced against 888’s long history and stability.
Terms of the new deal presented by GVC shows that the financing would come from a combination of shares by GVC as well as a senior secured loan from Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm. The amount of the loan is 400 million euro, which is around US$442 million.
With the increased bid, bwin.party shareholders would be entitled to a 122.5p per share offer. Shareholders would also be able to claim as much as 25p per share in cash. Just last week after the 888 Holdings deal was accepted, bwin did state they would still be open to new offers if they are deemed ‘deliverable’.
In a statement, bwin.party stated that the Board of the company has recommended the offer by 888 and they are working on completion of this offer. However, if GVC or another company was to put forward an attraction and financed offer that is deliverable, then the board would consider it as well.
Update 7-28-2015 p.m.
Hedge fund investor Jason Ader, whose Spring Owl Asset Management controls more than 5% of bwin.party stock is quoted in Bloomberg news today as saying that GVC would have to increase their its by another 14 percent to beat out 888’s offer. He stated that there are risks and uncertainties involved with the GVC bid, and that the current offer was, “just enough to have a conversation with Bwin.”