February 25, 2008

Sportingbet Rises as Express Says Bwin May Make Bid

Sportingbet Plc, the Web bookmaker that owns Paradise Poker, rose to a six-week high in London trading after the Sunday Express said Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG is considering a 290 million-pound ($570 million) offer.

Vienna-based Bwin may bid 70 pence a share for Sportingbet in the next few weeks, the newspaper reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information. Sportingbet spokesman George Hudson said the company wouldn't comment on speculation. Bwin spokesman Matthias Winkler also declined to comment.

London-based Sportingbet, which was forced to exit the U.S. by a 2006 crackdown on foreign gambling Web sites, ended talks on a possible takeover bid by Bwin in July. Online gaming operators have considered mergers and acquisitions as a way of replacing lost revenue after the U.S. law was introduced.