Logo Acquisition Wars, Part 2: 888 Holdings Bid Acknowledged

Last week’s increase in stock-market activity for both and the two companies behind a “reverse takeover” bid of same, GVC Holdings (SportingBet) and Amaya, forced both and GVC to publicly acknowledge that takeover attempt.  But in announcing that, also found itself needing to confirm a different takeover bid that remains under consideration.

bwin-party-logoThat other bid, now publicly acknowledged, is a €750 million bid received from 888 Holdings PLC.  As with Amaya, part of the other known active bid currently under consideration by, 888 Holdings is a prominent competitor of’s across most of the European market.

The bid from 888 involves an unknown amount of cash in combination with a share swap between the two companies, and though it carries a significantly lower face value than the rival offer from GVC/Amaya, the actual per-share values of each bid have yet to be publicly compared.

As with the GVC/ situation, officials at both and 888 now feel compelled to disclose the existence of this other takeover bid.  Here’s part of what 888 stated today:

Statement re: digital entertainment plc (“”)

The Board of 888 (the “Board”) has noted the recent press speculation concerning a possible offer for by 888 and RNS announcement by The Board believes that there is significant industrial logic in a combination of 888 and, benefiting both companies and all shareholders and accordingly, has submitted a proposal regarding the acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of for consideration comprising cash and 888 shares.

Due to the size of the proposed transaction, it would require, inter alia, the approval of 888 shareholders. 888 shareholders representing approximately 59% of 888’s share capital have irrevocably committed, subject to customary conditions, to vote in favour of the proposed transaction.

There can be no certainty that the submission of this proposal will lead to the Company being selected as the proposed acquirer of or, in turn, completing a transaction. A further update will be provided in due course. …’s statemenrt was rather more brief, noncommittal, and highly similar to what was offered regarding the GVC/Amaya bid.  According to

Announcement by 888

The Board of has noted the announcement made by 888 Holdings plc and confirms that it has received a proposal to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of The Board and its advisers are conducting a detailed review of the proposals received to-date and will make a further announcement in due course, however there can be no certainty that these proposals will result in a transaction being completed.

Analysts have already noted that 888’s bid and possible absorption of may also have the effect of making 888 itself a bit less of an acquisition target itself, in an overall market which remains ripe for consolidation.  888 has been noted as “susceptible” to takeover attempts, if not quite on the level of, a bloodied and money-dripping beast which has been targeted by market rivals for at least the last three years.

In 888’s case, Ladbrokes and William Hill have both made previous acquisition attempts, though neither came to fruition.  Those companies have also been reported to have at least considered acquiring, with serious rumors about a possible Laddies bid circulating within the industry a couple of years back.

Whether the 888 bid or the one from GVC/Amaya finally turns out to be the key that unlocks the puzzle remains unclear.  Still other bids may emerge, yet it seems that if other bids were under active consideration, they’d have also been disclosed by at this time.

The likeliest solutions include a segmenting of the firm into several distinct units, no matter who ends up doing the acquisition.  Such a scenario would allow any buyer to focus on the best pieces of to complement its own market prsences, since the vast conglomerate has a presence in many different market segments.  That approach would also help reduce exposure — and allow for a corporate restructuring — in various “gray” market jurisdictions. is generally regarded as overexposed in such jurisdictions, placing the company at the whim of various nationalities and new licensing regimes.


Leave a Comment



filter by

Dan Katz

29th February 2020 // Uncategorised

Is the Coronavirus a Threat to the 2020 WSOP?

This has been one hell of a week. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is picking up steam globally. World financial markets have...

Dan Katz

26th February 2020 // Uncategorised

Side Bets Available at PokerStars Poker Tables

Poker is gambling. We like to say that it is a game of skill – and it is – but it is also gambling. And that’s...

Dan Katz

17th February 2020 // News, Online Poker Action, Poker Tournaments

World Series of Poker Expands Online Bracelet Schedule to 14 Events

On Thursday, the World Series of Poker released the schedule for this summer’s online bracelet events, to be hosted...

Dan Katz

8th February 2020 // Gossip, News, Online Poker Action

Phil Galfond Down €750,000 to VeniVidi1993 in Galfond Challenge

Look, I don’t typically make a habit of feeling bad when people of means lose money, but oh man, I am starting to get...

Dan Katz

2nd February 2020 // News, Online Poker Action

PokerStars, partypoker Launching Dueling Bounty Tourney Series on Super Bowl Sunday

The year 2020 is already one-twelfth gone. It seems like just yesterday that Larry David was arguing that it was too...

Haley Hintze

31st January 2020 // Misc, News, Poker Tournaments

Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Postponement of Triton Jeju Series

The Triton Super High Roller Series scheduled for mid-Februry in Jeju, South Korea has become the first poker event...