bwin.party Denies Sale Plans, But Rumors Persist

bwin.party Sale Rumors
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Bwin.party has “no plans to break-up or sell the company.”

That’s per a press release issued yesterday by the company.

Rumors that bwin.party was pursuing a sale were first reported on June 26th by Christopher Palmeri at Bloomberg.

According to Palmeri, two people “with knowledge of the matter” confirmed that bwin.party was investigating a sale of “some or all of the company.”

Additionally, OPR has confirmed with individuals close to the company that a sale is being seriously discussed.

Shares of the company are up slightly on the reports, but the news has erased very little of the roughly 18% tumble bwin.party shares took after the announcement of Amaya’s plans to buy PokerStars.

Slimming down part of Ader’s proposal

A narrowing of bwin.party’s focus was one of the core tenets of activist investor Jason Ader’s plan for re-energizing the company.

Or at least it was back in May when Ader launched SaveBwinParty.com, complete with a 37-page drilldown of what Ader would have BP do differently.

The website is no longer live.

In the presentation, Ader called for “refocusing the Company on growing its core real-money wagering business.”

Poker could be a logical target for sale

A quick glance at the chart below reveals the primary culprit for bwin.party’s revenue decline: poker.

bwin.party earnings history

The story gets even worse when you dig deeper into the KPIs for poker.

View the sheet of KPIs for all products from 2010 to present and you’ll see that poker has generally plummeted in areas where other products have held steady or suffered only minor losses.

That could provide sufficient motivation for bwin.party to lop off the poker product (perhaps just the international and dot-country platforms while maintaining the US platform).

It’s worth noting that Ader did not propose jettisoning poker. Rather, he suggested the company charge harder at the market.

A sale might may make sense from bwin.party’s point of view, but the question is whether or not there’s an interested buyer.

Party Poker is currently the fourth largest online poker site by cash game traffic, according to PokerScout.com.

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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.