Despite the fact that the giant online gambling entity, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment accepted a £900 million purchasing offer by 888 Holdings, it seems that the race is still not over.
The other company which spent months wooing Bwin.Party, GVC Holdings, has reportedly upped its offer for the second times in two weeks in a bid to convince Bwin.Party that it is willing to go the whole way to clinch a deal.
GVC Holdings' latest offer is worth £1.03 billion - a slight increase from its first offer this week of £1 billion. By upping the ante, GVC, backed by the US private equity group Cerberus Capital Management, is hoping to bring Bwin.Party back to the drawing board and reject 888's offer.
When Bwin.Party accepted 888's offer - which is lower than all the offers presented by GVC Holdings - it stated that signing a deal with GVC would lead to less attractive growth prospects and was simply too complex.
Increased Offer by 888 Holdings
The question is now whether Bwin.Party will take advantage of GVC's continuous wooing and use it to get a higher price out of 888.
According to analysts with Canaccord Genuity financial group, it is unlikely that the bidding war is over yet.
Analyst Simon Davies said at GVC's latest offer that it is "materially higher than the 888 offer so I would expect the Bwin board to use this leverage to see if 888 might be prepared to raise their offer."
It should also be noted that while 888 promised cost benefits of $70 million a year within three years, GVC's guarantees are more than double that by the end of 2017.
Bwin.Party Mulling GVC Offer
According to media sources, GVC expects Bwin.Party to reply to its offer within 10 working days. Both groups said at the start of last weekend that they were in the process of evaluation.
GVC's offer is now worth 125.5p per share, which is 3p higher than its provisional bid last month.
Bwin.Party also said on Friday that its recommendation of 888 Holdings' offer remains unchanged.