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08 February 2011

PartyGaming and Bwin Merger Approved at Shareholder Meetings

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The shareholders of Bwin and PartyGaming have approved the proposed merger of these giants at separately convened general body meetings. Bwin shareholders unanimously approved the merger at the Bwin general body meeting, which was held earlier in the day. The PartyGaming shareholders met later on the same day and votes were cast for or against the merger. As it turned out, 99.4 percent of the shareholders voted for the merger, owing to which shareholder approval of the merger can be considered to be unanimous even in case of PartyGaming.

Bwin and PartyGaming had decided to merge nearly six months ago and had announced their intention on July 29, 2010. The new gaming company, which will result from the merger, will be christened Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc. The company will be on the London Stock Exchange list and its headquarters will be in Gibraltar. Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan will be the co CEO’s of Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc.

The co CEOs of the new company released a joint press statement immediately after the shareholders meetings. According to this statement, theses meetings were a milestone in the merger process, putting it well on the way to a successful conclusion. The CEOs expressed their delight that the shareholders of both companies understood the operational, strategic, and financial benefits of merging and creating the largest online gaming company in the world.

Bwin shareholders hold 51.6 percent of the shares of the new company and PartyGaming shareholders hold 48.4 percent. According to the prospectus of PartyGaming, which was released on Dec 23, 2010, Bwin and PartyGaming will continue to operate independently, owing to which the community of players at Bwin and PartyGaming will not notice any difference at the operational level.

However, players will reap benefits indirectly. The merger is expected to generate revenues of around €700 million, EBITDA of around €200 million approximately, post tax profit of around €100 million, and net assets worth more than €1.27 billion, states the prospectus. The merger will result in annual savings worth more than €55 million approximately, of which €40 million will be brought into effect in 2012 and the rest in 2013.

The new company plans to create an innovation laboratory to develop new social games, establish long-term relationships with prominent gaming bodies, push for the regulation and liberalization of the online gaming market in the USA, and explore possibilities for making more acquisitions in future.

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