888/bwin.party Merger On Hold

888/bwin.party Merger On Hold

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The much anticipated merger between bwin.party and 888 Holdings is now on holding according to recent reports.

Following a $650 million takeover bid by 888 in July, the operator's financial creditors, namely Barclays and JP Morgan, have put a temporary stop to things following further negotiations.

Concerned that bwin.party is still discussing options with 888's bidding rival, GVC, Barclays and the other institutions backing the $650 million covenant-lite leveraged loan now want a clearer picture on the situation before proceeding.

Issuing a statement to Pokernews, Barclays explained that the current climate of uncertainty isn't good for business and is something it wants taken care of before sanctioning a loan.

"The last two offers from GVC and the way the company decided to drop Amaya Gaming to advance in the negotiations have been a real game changer in the acquisition process. Today, the situation is no longer as clear as it was on July 17," read the statement.

The deal, which will involve a dual currency leveraged loan, was agreed by investors last week. However, the money will not now be released until bwin.party shows its hand and confirms definite interest in 888 Holdings.

Despite the recent developments, 888's board is still confident that the merger and acquisition will go ahead. Although the $650 million is lower than the one made by GVC, early reports suggest that bwin.party was more willing to accept the future terms offered by 888.

As it stands, the deal now appears to be up in the air, which could force 888 to either up its bid or hold tight and wait for bwin.party to confirm its move. Regardless of the outcome, it now seems a certainty that bwin.party will soon have a new owner although quite who that might be remains unclear.

Tags: 888 Holdings, bwin.party, GVC, Amaya Gaming, Barclays, JP Morgan