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Gibraltar To Land Largest E-Gaming Firm

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

E-gaming companies, PartyGaming and Bwin have announced the signing of a merger implementation agreement to create the world’s largest listed online gaming business, based offshore, in Gibraltar.

Under the proposed merger, the assets and liabilities of Bwin will be transferred to PartyGaming thereby forming a Societas Europaea (European joint stock company) incorporated in Gibraltar. Current shareholders of Bwin will receive approximately 51.6 % of the shares, and current shareholders of PartyGaming 48.4% of the shares in the combined entity. Bwin co-Chief Executive Officer, Norbert Teufelberger and his counterpart at Party Gaming, Jim Ryan will continue to jointly hold their posts. Other key management positions will be occupied by the existing senior management of both companies.

Upon completion of the proposed merger, Bwin shares will be de-listed from the Vienna Stock Exchange and the shares in the combined entity will be listed exclusively on the London Stock Exchange.

The proposed merger is subject to certain conditions which include:

  • The approval of the transaction by separate extraordinary meetings of the Bwin and PartyGaming shareholders;
  • The receipt of certain antitrust and regulatory clearances; and
  • Satisfaction of employee consultation requirements as applicable to the formation of a Societas Europaea.

The companies said key shareholders have already undertaken to vote in favour of the proposed merger in the relevant shareholders' meetings which are currently envisaged to take place during the first quarter of 2011.

Commenting, Teufelberger stated: "This business combination makes great strategic, operational and financial sense. We will be in pole position to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities that will flow from the continued evolution and expansion of the global online gaming industry."

On behalf of PartyGaming, Ryan added: “This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world’s largest listed online gaming business. With market-leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino and games (in particular bingo), the enlarged group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cashflow generation and a highly experienced management team.”