Who Is Who In Bingo Mergers & Acquistions
Posted by Jason Dale
If you follow the world of business then you'll know that in recent months there's been a bit of activity with regards to bingo acquisitions. Whilst so far none of the deals that have gone through have effected players, there's a lot of wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes. We thought we'd try and shed some light on who's doing what!
Intertain Hit The Jackpotjoy
The Intertain Group are the most active when it comes to bingo acquisitions. The company who are behind Intercasino purchased Mandalay Media (Costa Bingo and others) in June 2014 and have recently agreed a deal to acquire Gamesys, the guys beind Jackpotjoy. In addition they have also added the Vera&John Group to their collection.
This is quite a sizeable amount of activity in such a short space of time. The deal for Mandalay Media is reported to be worth around £45million whilst the Gamesys agreement is expected to be at least 10 times that amount. It remains to be seen whether that will be the end of Intertain's acquisitions although we suspect if the right deal arises then they'll be interested.
From a player perspective we're not expecting to see brands disappear. Mandalay Media have piled out a number of new bingo sites since June and we do wonder whether a similar approach will be adopted for Gamesys. The sites that use that platform have always been limited but we predict we'll see some new brands using the same software in the future.
Bingo Mergers Timeline
- June 2014 - Intertain acquire Mandalay Media (Costa Bingo)
- August 2014 - Gaming Realms acquire Blueburra Holdings (Bingoport)
- January 2015 - Contagious Gaming agrees purchase of Chelbis (Gone Bingo)
- January 2015 - Intertain acquire Gamesys (Jackpotjoy)
- February 2015 - William Hill consider 888 Holdings purchase
- February 2015 - Gtech looks set to finalise IGT purchase
William Hill In For 888?
The latest bingo acquisition story features another two massive brands. It was reported in The Times recently that William Hill were interested in acquiring 888 Holdings (The BBC). The deal is worth £750million and it would see the likes of the Dragonfish Network and brands such as Wink and 888 Ladies being taken over. It's also been suggested by The Times that Bwin Party are also being looked at by William Hill! Bwin own brands such as Party Casino and Foxy Bingo so if they were to be acquired then that would create quite a significant portfolio.
If this deal goes through then it could well spark a cull of brands rather than the Intertain approach of adding new ones. The Bwin/Cashcade, 888/Cassava and Dragonfish Networks all have brands that perhaps may not be doing as well as they could. We suspect that they won't be jettisoned before any sales but it could mean an uncertain future for the likes of Think, Redbus and perhaps even the many white labels on the Dragonfish set-up.
A Bingoport For Gaming Realms
Joining in the sales are Gaming Realms, the people who launched Bingo Godz! They've picked up Quickthink Media which means brands such as Iceland and Bubble Bonus now come under their umbrella. In August 2014 Gaming Realms also purchased Blueburra Holdings, who you may know better as Bingoport. They own Dragonfish brands such Diva and Nutty so they too will now fall under control of one group. Interestingly if a deal for 888 saw closures on Dragonfish, Gaming Realms could in theory use their Godz software to relaunch the brands on their own network. Could it happen?
The coming months will see further moves in the market. G2tech who own Chit Chat Bingo look like they're picking up IGT, Ladbrokes may well be seeking additions to their own group and we've not even covered Contagious Gaming's interest in Chelbis. It's not unfeasible that the likes of Tombola, Gala and Mecca - as well as portal sites like Whichbingo - could well attract suitors too. There are exciting times ahead.
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