June 27, 2010 / 9:53 AM / 9 years ago

bwin chief says PartyGaming merger talks failed

FRANKFURT, June 27 (Reuters) - Merger talks between online gambling groups bwin Interactive BWIN.VI and PartyGaming PRTY.L have collapsed, bwin’s supervisory board chairman and biggest single shareholder told an Austrian magazine.

“In the end, talks with the (other party) have not led to the desired outcome,” Hannes Androsch was quoted as saying by Austria’s Trend.

The companies had been talking for months in pursuit of a deal which analysts said could set off a wave of consolidation in the fragmented industry. [ID:nLDE5BT1CA]

Trend said that bwin was now looking for a joint venture partner in the United States and was considering the sale of a minority stake of up to 11 percent to a San Francisco-based company.

“bwin wants to tackle the task of entering the United States with a competent and local partner. We are holding talks to do this,” bwin’s co-chief executive, Norbert Teufelberger, told Trend.

In May bwin cut its full-year forecast after higher betting duties led it to post lower than expected first-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 29.1 million euros ($39.04 million). [ID:nLDE64B0DO] ($1=.7453 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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