Six Parties Interested in Ongame Purchase; Bwin Transition Still Planned for 2012
Following the collapse of the deal with Shuffle Master to purchase the Ongame Network, bwin.party has stated that there are six new potential suitors for the network.
bwin.party has been trying to sell its “surplus asset” since mid-2011, and had originally hoped to offload it by the end of that year. Despite delays, a €29.5m deal with Shuffle Master was announced in early 2012. But the deal collapsed last month, with Shuffle Master citing a worsening situation in Europe and slow regulatory progress in the US. Issues with the Ongame’s suitability in Nevada may also have contributed to the deal’s failure.
In a trading update today, bwin.party stated that six new potential purchasers have expressed an interest in acquiring the network, but did not provide any further details. It also did not comment on an earlier unconfirmed rumor, reportedly widely in the tech media, that Zynga Poker was one of the interested suitors.
Also mentioned in the trading update was that the plan to merge all of its brands under PartyGaming—which would see bwin players transitioned off the Ongame platform and onto a PartyPoker skin—is still on schedule to happen by the end of the year.
The marriage of the two has already taken place in Spain, with bwin.es and partypoker.es sharing a player pool on the Party platform. bwin.party boasts having a third-place position in terms of market share. In the Spanish online poker market, it sits behind PokerStars.ES and 888poker.ES.