Online betting firm bwin merges with UK's Partygaming
Austrian online betting company bwin announced Thursday it had signed a merger agreement with British rival PartyGaming.
The move, giving bwin a 51.6-percent stake in the new group compared to 48.4 percent for PartyGaming, will become effective in the first quarter of 2011, the Austria Press Agency reported.
"This business combination makes great strategic, operational and financial sense," bwin chief executive Norbert Teufelberger said in a statement.
"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," he added.
PartyGaming chief executive Jim Ryan echoed that sentiment, saying: "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."
The two men will become co-chief executives of the new company, which will have its seat in Gibraltar and be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, bwin will be delisted from the Vienna Stock Exchange.
Thursday, bwin shares jumped 12 percent to 39.91 euros in Vienna before trading was suspended just after noon. PartyGaming meanwhile soared 23.89 percent to 318.4 pounds in London around 1130 GMT.
© 2010 AFP