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Bwin and PartyGaming to merge

© bwin
12. August 2010

Austrian firm Bwin and PartyGaming will merge to create the world's largest listed egaming company. The joint business is likely to expand further as it eyes acquisitions among other gambling websites. Partygaming is a UK-listed firm but is based in Gibraltar where taxes are lower than in the UK.

The alliance will see Bwin become the majority shareholder with 51.64% of the newly merged business, while PartyGaming will own the remaining 48.36%. The company will be listed on the LSE. Bwin is currently the largest publicly listed egaming company with a market cap of around €1.4bn, while PartyGaming is second with a market cap of £1.1bn.

The merged company will have pro-forma 2009 net gaming revenue of €682m (£571m) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €196m.

PartyGaming’s and Bwin’s share prices both rose following the announcement. PartyGaming shares climbed 30 per cent to 333p while bwin shares were up 12 per cent to €39.90.

Jim Ryan, chief executive of PartyGaming, and Norbert Teufelberger, co-chief executive of Bwin, will become co-chief executives of the merged company. Current Bwin co-chief executive Manfred Bodner will become a non-executive director on the board of the enlarged group. 


Teufelberger said: “This merger of equals makes great strategic, operational and financial sense. We will be in pole position to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities that will flow from the continued evolution and expansion of the global online gaming industry.”

A merger between the two publically listed companies has long been rumoured. During PartyGaming’s strong fourth quarter results announcement in March, “active discussions” between the two companies were reported.
The merged company will continue to be based in Gibraltar. Upon the completion of the merger, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2011, Bwin shares will be de-listed from the Vienna Stock Exchange and the shares in the combined entity will be listed on the LSE.

The deal has the backing of 28.5% of PartyGaming shareholders – founder shareholders Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon and CEO Jim Ryan – and 14.4 per cent of bwin’s existing share capital.

About Bwin

The bwin Group has over 20 million registered customers in more than 25 core markets. On a number of different platforms, the Group offers sports betting, poker, casino games, soft and skill games, as well as audio and video streams of top sporting events such as the German Soccer League. The holding company bwin Interactive Entertainment AG is listed in the ATX on the Vienna Stock Exchange (ID code BWIN, Reuters ID code BWIN.VI), and as the parent company provides various services such as software development, marketing, communications, human resources and finance for its subsidiaries and associated companies. The operational business of the bwin Group is carried out by subsidiaries and associated companies on the basis of licences (e.g. Germany, Italy and Gibraltar). Full details about the Company can be found on its investor relations website at www.bwin.org.

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