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GVC Raises the Stakes for Second Time with $1.6 Billion Bid for Bwin.Party

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  • GVC ups the ante and places $1.6 billion offer for bwin.party. How will 888 react?

  • GVC offers $1.6 billion for the bwin.party Group, expects the negotiations to conclude "within 10 business days."

Gone are the days when the deal between 888 Holdings and the Bwin.party Digital Entertainment was a forgone conclusion. That's because GVC Holdings decided to up the ante for the second time in 10 days and put a $1.6 billion bid on the table.

According to Reuters this may be the last attempt from GVC to buy the bwin.party Group, as the company expects the negotiations to conclude "within the next 5 to 10 business days."

GVC's latest offer is 2.4 percent higher than the one presented in July, when the company offered nearly $1.55 billion to take control of bwin.party. The increase, however, is somewhat distant from what the Chief Executive Officer of hedge fund Springowl Asset Management LLC, Jason Ader told Bloomberg he would consider as an appropriate sum to convince the bwin.party Group to choose GVC over 888.

Friday's bid from GVC provides 125.5 pence per bwin.party share.

Ader, who's hedge fund controls approximately five percent of the bwin.party Group, said the $1.55 offer made in July was "just enough to start a conversation," and added he believed a 140 pence a share offer would have been more adequate. Friday's bid from GVC provides 125.5 pence per bwin.party share instead.

Should GVC's latest bid not be accepted by the board of the bwin.party Group, the company would then proceed with the conclusion of a $1.44 billion deal that would bring the company under the control of 888 Holdings.

The offer from 888 Holdings was formally recommended by bwin.party's board on July 17, when the two companies issued a joint statement to announce that “they have reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended offer pursuant to which [888 Holdings] will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of bwin.party."

Upon completion, the deal between 888 and bwin.party is believed to create an enlarged business with combined annual revenues of more than $1 billion.

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