In December last year, one could read about merger speculations between bwin and PartyGaming in the british newspaper The Sunday Times. However, later on bwin denied that they were holding advanced talks with PartyGaming about a merge. Yesterday, almost 8 months later, PartyGaming announced that they have been negotiating with bwin for some time about a merge of the 2 companies.
Now, If everything goes according to plan and the shareholders agree to sell, PartyGaming will buy bwin for $1.76 billion and create the world's biggest publicly traded online gambling company.
The first thing that came to my mind when I read about an eventual merge in December last year was that they are doing it to keep up with the poker giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, and after I read what Gianmarco Bonacina, an analyst with Equita SIM SpA in Milan, said in an interview with Bloomberg, I no longer have any doubts.
"From an industrial point of view this is both an offensive and a defensive move. In Europe, Bwin and PartyGaming are losing market share in poker versus Pokerstars and Fulltilt, so the combination will protect them. In the U.S., the move is offensive. They want to attack that market and are in a better position if they combine." said Gianmarco Bonacina to the Business & Finacial newspaper Bloomberg.