bwin.party Ready to Drop 888 Holdings, Unveils Big Plans in Italy
The bwin.party Group will consider an offer from GVC Holding once they up the ante and increase their bid, the Chief Executive Officer of hedge fund Springowl Asset Management LLC, Jason Ader told Bloomberg on Monday.
According to Ader, who's hedge fund controls about the five percent of the bwin.party Group, the offer presented by GVC earlier this week was "just enough to start a conversation."
"I would want a much bigger premium than 122.5 pence. There are a lot of risks and uncertainties with this GVC bid," Ader explained.
Analysts believe that bwin.party could choose to reject the $1.4 billion offer made by 888Holdings in favor of a new one from GVC only if the Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) online gaming company will guarantee at least a 14 percent increase of its latest $1.55-billion bid.
Numbers at hand, this would require GVC to offer nearly 140 pence a share for bwin.party, which would represent a significant increase compared to the 110 pence per share bid offered earlier this month when the company formed a joint venture with Amaya.
Bloomberg also reports that, should the offer from GVC succeed and should bwin.party choose to drop the $1.4 billion offer from 888 Holdings accepted on July 17, GVC's Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Alexander would be taking control of the new company.
bwin to Open More Than 400 Betting Shops in Italy
As talks and negotiations over the company's future continue, bwin unveiled a new aggressive strategy aimed at expanding their sports betting business in Italy.
During a meeting held in Rome on July 29, the Director of Sport Integrity and Regulation at bwin, Antonio Costanzo, explained that by the end of the year the group will intensify its efforts to assume a leading position in Italy's sports betting market, an industry that is estimated to be worth €7.9 billion a year.
Bwin's operations in Italy will be carried out in cooperation with a newly established company named Obiettivo 2016 and include the launch of 400 to 500 betting shops throughout the country.
Through the network of betting shops — which will be the first ones to ever bring bwin's brand to brick-and-mortar betting — and a soon to be launched intense marketing campaign, bwin hopes to increase its footprint in Italy and control up to 15 percent of the country's sports betting market.