Bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger has not ruled out recommended a takeover offer from GVC Holdings, but wants the firm to work on its bid. Until then, the board is continuing to support 888 Holdings’ original bid.
He commented: “We have been working with GVC and their advisors to try and help them resolve certain key aspects of their proposal, something they have now done. We have now asked them to clarify the best terms on which GVC is prepared to make a formal offer to acquire us. There can be no certainty that GVC will make an offer.
“However, 888 has been informed of this development and, if appropriate, we will give due notice in the event that bwin.party proposes to recommend an offer from GVC. In the meantime the directors’ unanimous recommendation of the offer from 888 remains unchanged.”
Teufelberger made the comments on the launch of his firm’s H1 results, which has seen revenues fall to €296.5m from €317.1m for the period. The company cites the absence of the FIFA World Cup, lower margins in sports, market declines in poker and the impact of EU VAT in certain markets.
Despite this Teufelberger saw some positives in the performance: “Clean EBITDA increased by 2% year-on-year despite the introduction of VAT in a number of EU Member States and the new UK point of consumption tax. However, our progress on non-core asset disposals and other cost saving initiatives is running ahead of plan – excluding the impact of EU VAT and UK point of consumption tax (‘POCT’), Clean EBITDA would have increased by 24%.
“Based upon our progress in the year-to-date and with the further roll-out of our latest mobile products, the introduction of new CRM tools and planned entry into two new nationally regulated markets later this year, we remain confident about the full year outlook.”
Gross gaming revenue through mobile/touch grew by 50% and now represents 30% of overall GGR (2014: 19%) with growth across all verticals.
Current trading at the firm is suffering from the absence of a major football tournament and the cost of EU VAT means that in the 8 weeks to 25 August 2015 average daily net revenue was down 9 per cent versus the same period in 2014. However the firm said it was on-track to meet or exceed €15m incremental cost saving target this year.