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888 Holdings bids for Bwin.Party

[LONDON] 888 Holdings Plc said it made a proposal to buy Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc, entering a contest with GVC Holdings Plc for the online gaming company.

A deal would have "significant industrial logic," 888 said in a statement Monday, days after London-based GVC said it submitted a proposal to acquire Bwin.party. 888's offer would comprise cash and shares and would require the approval of shareholders due to its size, the company said. Shareholders with a combined 59 per cent stake are in favor, 888 added.

Bwin.party rose 11 per cent to 99.45 pence on Friday on news of GVC's proposal. That boosted the company's market value to 818.6 million pounds (US$1.3 billion), more than 888's £604.7 million, and GVC's £281 million.

Bwin.party Chief Executive Officer Norbert Teufelberger has been considering a possible sale since at least November, when the company said it was in early talks with several interested parties. GVC teamed with William Hill Plc to take over Sportingbet Plc in 2013.

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