Evasion turned to confirmation in the online gaming industry, as PartyGaming finally validated rumors that the company was in talks with Bwin. Additionally, a spokesperson announced that PartyGaming is in talks with several companies regarding consolidation possibilities, which leads to more speculation as to how far the online gaming giant will go in efforts to dominate the industry.
In 2009, PartyGaming, via subsidiary company Peerless Media, bought the assets of the World Poker Tour and renamed the company Ante4, in addition to re-signing Mike Sexton to a sponsorship-plus deal earlier in the year. And in the first few weeks of 2010, PartyPoker announced the signing of Kara Scott and Tony G, along with the purchase of the assets of the latter’s Tony G Poker online gaming site.
Now, PartyGaming confirms, as reported by The Guardian in the UK, that it is looking to consolidate or merge with other companies, one of them being Bwin, the Austrian-based sports betting company that has also forged a pathway into the online gaming industry. That single deal alone could be worth more than £2 billion and give PartyGaming an edge in the sports betting industry.
The affirmation of talks came in the form of a statement released to the London Stock Exchange: “The board of PartyGaming confirms that it is continuing to hold discussions with a number of companies in the gaming sector regarding potential consolidation opportunities. As all such discussions remain at a preliminary stage, there can be no certainty as to whether or not such discussions will result in any form of transaction.” Additionally, Bwin chairman Hannes Androsch added, “Talks are going on but we don’t know yet whether they will succeed.”
The Guardian also listed other possible companies in talks with PartyGaming as 888 Holdings, Sportingbet, and Unibet.
With the level of talks remaining undisclosed, it could be months before any deals are solidified. However, with the recent speed at which PartyGaming has been acquiring assets and broadening its global reach in the gaming industry, the safe bet would be that news will emerge sooner rather than later.