GVC Prepared to Make Higher Offer to Win Bwin.Party Bid Contest

GVC Holdings Plc indicated that it’s ready to increase its offer for Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc, saying it will do everything possible to win a tussle with 888 Holdings Plc for the online gaming company.

GVC “can pay more if necessary,” a representative for the Isle of Man-based company said Thursday in an e-mailed statement. Two weeks ago, GVC said it made a proposal to Bwin.party worth 125.5 pence a share as it seeks to persuade the online-gaming company to drop a lower offer it has accepted from

888.

Bwin.party agreed last month to be acquired by 888 for

898.3 million pounds ($1.4 billion). The takeover of the Gibraltar-based company will be the latest in a series of combinations in the gaming industry. GVC teamed up with William Hill Plc to acquire Sportingbet Plc in 2013, and Ladbrokes Plc agreed to buy Coral Group earlier this month.

“We will do everything in our power to win this auction and deliver the best value for Bwin shareholders, both now and in the future,” GVC said in the statement. “A combined Bwin and GVC business would be far more valuable in the longer term than that of the alternative. We have greater synergies so we can pay more if necessary.”

Bwin.party rose 1.2 pence, or 1.1 percent, to 114.7 pence at 12:35 p.m. in London trading. GVC was unchanged at 427 pence, while 888 advanced 0.2 percent to 161.75 pence.

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