It has been speculated in the last months that a large merger is expected in the gambling market. Rumors about negotiations between gaming companies have spread in the industry, but have not been confirmed by any of the companies. Well, now they are not rumors any more, as Bwin and Party Gaming, two of the oldest, most powerful companies in the online gambling industry announce their merger.
The merged company will certainly be the largest in the online gambling industry, with powerful presence in all segments of the market. Although both companies are active in all verticals of the online gambling world, each of the companies brings to the table a leadership position in a different vertical. Party Gaming’s leading site is PartyPoker.com, which is a leader in the online poker arena, while Bwin’s strongest vertical is sports betting. Both companies have a strong presence in the online casino and games vertical.
The merged company will show combined income of €682M for 2009 and EBITA of €196M. Bwin’s shareholders will own 51.6% of the merged company, while Party Gaming’s share holders will hold 48.4% of the shares.
Jim Ryan, CEO of Party Gaming commented on the merger, saying: “This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world’s largest listed
online gaming business. With market-leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino and games (in particular bingo), the Enlarged Group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cashflow generation and a highly experienced management team.”
Norbert Teufelberger, co-CEO of Bwin also commented on the merger, saying: “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.”
The merger impact on the online gambling market is not known yet, but we can definitely assume that it has opened the path to additional M&As.