As the international Internet gambling industry continues to focus on possible mergers and acquisitions — with the bwin / Partygaming merger front and center — reports are persisting over Ladbrokes’ rumored attempts to acquire 888.
Last month, Ladbrokes told the media that it was in ‘very preliminary’ discussions about buying 888, reports Rosamund Urwin of the London Evening Standard.
“Earlier this week, the rumour on the Square Mile grapevine was that the bookie was considering coughing up 80p for 888, rather than the 70p that was originally mooted,” Urwin continued.
“I reckon we’ll hear news of a deal in the next fortnight,” a “talkative type in a Savile Row suit” was quoted in the article. “I think both of them want to do this deal.”
Not all Internet gambling industry observers share that confidence.
“Thing is, Playtech are reportedly offering £210m to acquire 888,” comments Steven Stradbrooke at CalvinAyre.com. “While that’s demonstrably above 888’s market capitalization of £169m, did they not notice the £240m figure stated above? Does the phrase ‘a day late, £30m short’ spring to anyone’s mind?”
Playtech is also interested in buying the brand, and has offered £200 million, reports Online Casino Reports.
All the companies are British, but operate out of different UK jurisdictions: 888 is based in Gibraltar, Ladbrokes in London, and Playtech on the Isle of Man.