Brian Mattingley – 888 is No Takeover Target

mattingley
Brian Mattingley

Having pulled out of the bwin.party Entertainment takeover race last Friday, 888 Holdings Chairman Brian Mattingley has told the Financial Times that the company is still on the lookout for further acquisitions.

The 888 Chairman further stated that the operator was “not a target” within the consolidating igaming sector which has seen significant M&A activity in 2015. Mattingley noted that 888 governance were committed to building its sports betting product, as the operator looks to expand its customer offerings.

888’s walk-out of negotiations for bwin.party last Friday, had led to numerous business analysts commentating that the firm may be vulnerable to becoming a sector target. Analysts highlighted William Hill’s rebuffed bid in February,  noting that the operator could again become an appealing proposition under current market conditions.

888 governance rejected bwin.party’s call for a higher takeover bid to outgun GVC Holdings £1.1 billion proposition. In a short statement released on last Friday 888 said it “could not see sufficient value in bwin.party to warrant a revision to its offer.”

Detailing further insight into takeover negotiations, Mattingley commented:

“We were nervous. We would have had little wriggle room. To get $70m of synergies you have to make people redundant, close head offices, invest money in bringing the brands back and we felt we were at the limit and anything beyond that could start to destroy all the good work we have done with 888.”

Following three months of gruelling takeover negotiations, the 888 Chairman stated the he was “relieved it had come to an end”. 888 will return to the drawing board and review its options for future growth.

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