The battle over bwin.party Group's future is not over yet. That's because GVC Holdings Plc jumped back into the game and raised the stakes with a £1 billion (approx. $1.55 billion) offer. The bid came a little over a week after the board of bwin.party announced their intention to accept a £898.3 million ($1.4 billion) offer from 888 Holdings.
"The directors of GVC note the recent press speculation concerning a potential proposal by the Company to acquire bwin.party digital entertainment plc that has followed the Company's announcement on 21 July 2015 that the GVC Board is considering the Company's options regarding bwin.party," said a note released by GVC on Monday.
"That announcement itself followed the announcement issued on Friday 17th July 2015 by 888 Holdings plc concerning 888's recommended offer for bwin.party at 104.09p per bwin.party share (based on the 888 closing price on 16th July 2015 of 160 pence per 888 share).
"The GVC Board confirms that the Company has made a proposal to the Board of bwin.party for the acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of bwin.party, under which bwin.party shareholders would be entitled to receive 122.5p for each bwin.party share, consisting of up to 25p in cash (…) and the balance of the value in new GVC ordinary shares," the note continued.
To finance the new offer, Gibraltar-based GVC announced that the company have obtained a $440 million senior secured loan from Cerberus Capital Management. In addition, GVC plans to raise approximately £150 million through an equity placing of new GVC shares for cash "in order to fund restructuring costs, the refinancing of existing bwin.party debt and for additional working capital purposes."
GVC has been reportedly evaluating the possibility of a higher bid since last week when Bloomberg and Reuters announced that the company was "considering its options," even if there was "no certainty an offer would be made."
The international markets reacted positively to the announcement of GVC's new bid, with the shares of the London-listed bwin.party Group rising 3.1 percent right after the opening of Monday's trading session.
The risk of 888 losing the deal has also impacted the performance of the company's shares, as the value of 888 Holding shares fell 3.7 percent. GVC stocks, however, did not suffer any major change, with its shares declining 0.8 percent to 425 pence.