Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A New Year's Eve party at Bwin

It's been a volatile morning for shares in Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Last night, the online gaining group released a pre-close trading update that at first glance looked like a bit of a stinker of a profit warning. Here is link to the statement: 

The trading update comes as Bwin has been talking to "third parties" about "consolidation" and "business combinations". Indeed, Geoff Foster says in his Daily Mail market report today that gaming software company Playtech is on the verge of winning the Bwin auction with a 140p a share/£1.2 billion offer.

So no surprise, then, that Bwin's shares have been up and down like a yo-yo on the final trading day of 2014. The stock initially fell by as much as 7pc but since then has rallied all the way back up to 117p.

And just now a vehicle called New Media and Gaming Holding released a rather convoluted statement about the status of its shareholding in Bwin. It looks like (but do get in touch if I am wrong) that New Media and Gaming Holding's 3pc shareholding via derivatives has been transferred to Manfred Bodner, the underlying beneficial owner of the stock.

For readers that don't recall, Mr Bodner was one of the founders and chief executive of Austrian company Bwin Interactive Entertainment until its merger with London-listed Party Gaming in 2010. He then became a non-executive director of Bwin.Party Digitial Entertainment until earlier this year, when he was ousted by new chairman Philip Yea, the former chief executive of 3i.

It feels like the Bwin party is about to get lively...

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