bwin.party is pushing back against reports that talks over a potential sale of the company have fallen apart even as the company’s stock shed nearly a fifth of its value in a single day.
A company spokesperson told eGaming Review that bwin.party would be “obliged to update the market” if talks had indeed concluded. The company currently has “no such update to issue,” the spokesman told eGR.
But a piece over at FT Alphaville (via DealReporter) asserts that the collapse of deal talks was precisely the factor that drove bwin.party’s precipitous one-day drop (chart below).
The primary suitors for bwin.party were largely thought to be Amaya and Playtech.
Neither were a perfect fit in terms of the entire bwin.party product range and market mix.
Amaya no doubt found much to like about the sports side and possibly the casino business, but the poker piece would be beyond redundant and the bingo an afterthought.
Whether or not the prospect of bwin.party’s US-facing business – which is to say its operations in New Jersey, where Amaya has struggled to win approval for PokerStars – would be enough to convince Amaya to take on the ROW poker and bingo baggage was an open question.
Meanwhile, Playtech would face the awkwardness of moving from a predominantly B2B company to a B2C operator competing with many of its suppliers.
And any buyer would no doubt find cause for concern in the amount of bwin.party’s revenue concentrated in markets with uncertain regulatory / legal outlooks – most notably Germany, where the company draws some 25% of its total earnings.
The FT Alphaville piece also named William Hill (who appear to be more interested in 888 nowadays) and Apollo Global Management (currently guiding much of Caesars through bankruptcy) as interested parties.
Below is the chart of today’s movement for bwin.party on the LSE.
As you can see, the stock dipped down to near £78 before rallying as the close approached to hit £83.55: