GVC Proposes Reverse Takeover With Bwin.Party Web Bookmaker

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An outdoor advertisement for Austrian online betting company bwin Interactive Entertainment AG in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, September 30, 2006.

An outdoor advertisement for Austrian online betting company bwin Interactive Entertainment AG in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, September 30, 2006.

Photographer: Mark H. Milstein

GVC Holdings Plc, a London-based online bookmaker, said it has submitted a proposal to acquire Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc to expand its online gambling services.

If the transaction proceeds, it would be treated as a reverse takeover because of the size of Gibraltar-based Bwin.party, GVC said in a statement Friday. Terms of the proposed deal weren’t disclosed.

Bwin.party Chief Executive Officer Norbert Teufelberger has been considering a possible sale since at least November, when the company said it was in early talks with several interested parties. GVC teamed with William Hill Plc to take over Sportingbet Plc in 2013.

“This could make sense for both sets of shareholders,” said Gavin Kelleher, an analyst with Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin, who has a hold rating on Bwin.party shares. “It’s potentially a breath of fresh air for Bwin.party, for someone to come in and get costs out.”

Shares in Bwin.party jumped as much as 12 percent in London trading, the most since November, giving the company a market capitalization of 787 million pounds ($1.2 billion). GVC shares fell 1.5 percent, the most in a month, valuing the company at 277 million pounds.

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