GVC set to win battle for bwin.party

The protracted battle leaves 888 missing out on the deal frenzy gripping the sector

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The Independent Online

The battle for online gambling group bwin.party is expected to tip decisively in favour of Sportingbet owner GVC today when bwin’s board formally recommends its £1bn offer.

Struggling bwin.party previously recommended a lower bid from 888 worth £870m, but The Independent understands that 888 was told on Saturday that it was now ready to back GVC instead. Bwin.party’s board rubberstamped the move yesterday.

The protracted battle leaves 888 missing out on the deal frenzy gripping the sector, as Paddy Power and Betfair merge and Ladbrokes and Coral join forces.

GVC’s looming victory could herald a break-up of bwin.party, unwinding the disastrous merger of bwin and Party Gaming in 2011.

One senior source said: “Our intention is to run it as it is, but if you get a price that is in the interest of shareholders to dispose of certain things then we’ll dispose of things.”

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