Bwin and 888 chief executives have dismissed press speculation over an imminent takeover of 888 by the Austrian operator.
Commenting on rumours emerging from the German investment community and widely reported in the UK and German-speaking press that Bwin is in the process of raising cash to carry out the acquisition, co-chief executive Norbert Teufelberger: “We have contacts with everybody [in the industry] and common goals in that we want to operate in regulated markets. So yes, we talk to many operators and consolidation is always an option, but in this instance there has been no call to raise funds from existing shareholders with a view to acquiring 888.”
888 chief executive Gigi Levy also dismissed the speculation: “We have known Bwin for a long time but there is no truth in these rumours.”
Bwin announced strong third quarter results on Wednesday with earnings before interest, debt and amortisation up 75% to €16.8m on the same period last year. The gaming and betting giant also carried out the acquisition of Italy’s leading poker site Gioco Digitale during the period. However, Teufelberger denied this represented an implicit indictment of the achievements of Bwin’s Italian poker activities.
“We are the only international operator with a significant presence in Italy and with the further opening up of the products we will be able to offer, we want to be a strong player there from the word go, and acquiring Gioco Digitale enables us to do that. When we look at it at the end of next year, I believe we will view it as being good value for money.”