Bwin Shareholders finally approve PartyGaming Merger
We’ve heard for months that Bwin and PartyGambing were planning a merger that would make them the single largest online gambling company in the world. But until now, the only holdup has been whether or not the Bwin shareholders would approve of the deal. Well the results are in, and Bwin shareholders voted in favor of the merger with PartyGaming.
As we’ve reported in the past, the merger will create a company worth $3.7 billion; PartyGaming brings $1.8 billion of this amount to the table, while Bwin was worth $1.9 billion before the deal. The ownership stakes will give Bwin a slight majority since they’re taking 51.6% ownership in the company, while PartyGaming will control 48.6% of the company. One more point worth mentioned is that PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan and Bwin CEO Norbert Teufelberger will make joint decisions together as co-CEO’s.
The timing of this merger couldn’t be any better since PartyGaming has been hoping to re-enter the US market for years ever since it left following the UIGEA implementation in 2006. PartyGaming built both its Party Poker and Party Casino brands up primarily through the US prior to ’06, but took a huge hit when they left.
Now is as good of a time as any for PartyGaming to re-enter the US market with several states in the process of legalizing poker. In fact, both New Jersey and California are very close to legalizing online poker, and PartyGaming has a chance to be accepted for licensing if this happens.
Moving beyond the poker issue, Bwin also brings a lot to the table in this relationship since they are one of the largest sportsbooks in the world. The Austrian-based gaming company offers some of the best lines on football, cricket and basketball games, and they also have a decent online casino too.