Possible Merger for PartyGaming and 888

Home »  Possible Merger for PartyGaming and 888

An unsourced report in the Sunday Times announced that PartyGaming and 888 have held preliminary talks about a possible merger.

Both of the online gambling giants suffered greatly following the US Senate approval of an anti-online gambling bill, and their subsequent decision to withdraw from the US market.

PartyGaming Chief Executive Mitch Garber has been talking up changes of a merger in recent weeks, saying the current climate was a “golden consolidation opportunity” for the cash-rich PartyGaming.

Both companies are traded on the UK Stock Exchange and, were they to merge, would have a joint market capitalization of $3 billion.

PartyGaming lost up to 70%
32 Vegasof its value following the developments in the US, whilst 888 lost around 35%. There is a chance this information was ‘leaked’ to shore up the share prices of both companies, however, if the Sunday Times source is correct, both parties are expected to hold further talks in the coming weeks.

A merger would be especially attractive to those online gambling companies which have an online poker division. Withdrawing from the US has left both companies online poker rooms desperately short of players, and merging would allow the companies to combine their poker tables together to achieve a critical mass. Without it, they would be unable to compete against the market leaders.

According to one insider quoted by the paper: “All the players have been talking to each other for weeks. At one stage there were plans for attempting a multi-company merger but it was decided that this would be too difficult and that one merger at a time would be quicker.”

PartyGaming and 888 declined to comment on the possible merger.