Belfast Telegraph

Gambling firm ups the ante in £1bn takeover battle

By Roger Baird

Online gambling firm 888 Holdings has raised the stakes in the £1bn takeover battle with GVC Holdings by sweetening its bid for FoxyBingo owner Bwin.party.

Bwin said it has received a revised proposal from Gibraltar-based rival 888 and will consider it alongside a new offer made last week by GVC in a two-way bidding war that has swung back and forth throughout the summer.

Bwin did not disclose the terms of 888's fresh approach, although Bwin said it came with "a number of pre-conditions".

Bwin is also considering a revised cash-and-shares bid from Isle of Man-based GVC worth around £1.07bn, which was made last week. Bwin said it will "consult with its key shareholders in the coming days before deciding on an offer "in due course".

However, the Bwin board said its current recommendation for a £898.3m cash-and-paper offer from 888 in July remained unchanged. Brokers at Peel Hunt said that Bwin's management acceptance of 888's lower offer suggests it has greater confidence in that firm's share growth potential.

Belfast Telegraph

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