Market Report: Potential sale of Bwin.Party sees jump for online gaming group

 

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The Independent Online

Are we be about to see a bidding war for Bwin.Party?

The Gibraltar-registered online gaming group jumped 11.3p to 119.1p yesterday after confirming speculation that it is in “preliminary discussions with a number of interested parties regarding a variety of potential business combinations” – including the sale of the company.

The parties weren’t named but the City rumour mill was happy to fill in the blanks, following weeks of speculation. Canadian gaming group Amaya, which earlier this year bought Full Tilt and PokerStars, is thought to be the most serious bidder. But Playtech is also mentioned as a possible bidder and speculation was stoked yesterday by news that the company was raising a war-chest for potential acquisitions. Playtech aimed to raise €315m (£248m) through a convertible bond issue but ended up with €297m. It fell 63p to 607p, hit by a downgrade from Credit Suisse. Ladbrokes, up 1.7p at 120.3p, is also rumoured to be a potential target.

The FTSE experienced a turbulent session, closing down 16.36 points at 6,611.04 as heavyweight financial stocks fell on forex fines and Capita tumbled 73p to 1,048p on poor numbers. Tullow Oil rose 10.6p to 492.8p after announcing a halt to exploration activities, instead focusing spending on producing assets. However the company warned it may be forced to take further writedowns.

Insulation and roofing specialist SIG tumbled 9.6p to 147.9p on the mid-cap index after warning investors to lower their expectations due to a slowdown in Europe.

African Minerals leapt 5.5p to 15.5p on Aim, as the indebted company announced it has called in Standard Chartered to help find new cash to keep the loss-making Tonkolili iron ore project in business. It is also is considering selling down its 75 per cent stake in the Sierra Leone project in a bid to bolster its balance sheet.

Embattled insurance outsourcer Quindell continued to bounce around, still reeling from the opaque director share purchases announced last week. Yesterday it closed up 7.75p at 83.25p.

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