Bwin’s biggest shareholder has issued a disclaimer of earlier comments he made to the Austrian press that the merger talks between Bwin and PartyGaming had collapsed.
Hannes Androsch, chairman of the supervisory board, was reported in Austrian monthly magazine Trend as saying: “It is true, that talks with the English company ultimately did not lead to the desired outcome.”
Bwin then issued a statement saying that Androsch had been “wrongly quoted” and that “he would like to clarify his statement as follows: ‘It is true, that up until now, talks have not lead to any specific outcome.’"
Speculation around a Bwin and PartyGaming merger first surfaced in December of last year, when both refused to confirm stories published in the Times and Sunday Times that merger talks between the two were ongoing.
Trend also reported that Bwin was now seeking a joint venture partner in the US, and was considering the sale of a minority stake of up to 11% to a San Francisco-based company.
Bwin's co-chief executive, Norbert Teufelberger, was also reported as telling the Austrian publication: "Bwin wants to tackle the task of entering the United States with a competent and local partner. We are holding talks to do this,"
The Austrian operator confirmed Teufelberger’s statement regarding the company’s intentions with regard to the US was correct, adding the statement from Androsch that: “We are acting from a position of strength and are under no time pressure."