The race to acquire Bwin.Party is picking up steam now that Amaya Gaming has put in a €1.5 billion ($1.68 billion USD) offer on its one-time rival.

Amaya Gaming, which already owns Poker Stars and FullTilt, is teaming up with GVC Holdings in the acquisition effort. Both companies, it should be noted, have already placed individual bids on the company. The offer is said to be structured as a combination of both cash and stocks.

The dynamic duo are, however, facing some pretty stiff competition in the race to buy Bwin.Party. Late last week, UK gaming giant 888 put together a similar bid for its one-time rival.

GVC and Amaya Gaming have structured their offer in the form of an FTSE 250 special purpose vehicle. This big of legalese allows both companies to be in on the biding process.

If the bid is successful, GVC would be the owner on paper and would provide management services. At that point, Amaya Gaming would have an opportunity to buy GVC out.

One potential stumbling block to the big-time deal is Bwin.Party’s large business dealings in unregulated gaming markets. This exposure to the grey-market could cause troubles with regulators back in Amaya’s home country of Canada.

GVC Holdings, on the other hand, has plenty of experience with grey market operators, thanks to their recent acquisition of SportingBet. So that may, or may not, come up as a problem.

No matter what happens with their various suitors, all this attention has been great news for Bwin.Party stockholders. The company’s stock jumped 8.6% on news of the bid.


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