888 in takeover approach for online gaming rival Bwin
UK online gaming group 888 says it has made a takeover approach for rival Bwin.party, raising a prospect of a bidding war for the firm.
On Friday, GVC Holdings, a UK-listed online betting firm, said it had made a bid approach for Bwin.
888 - whose brands include Casino-on-Net and Pacific Poker - is expanding its sports betting business and said in March it was looking for acquisitions.
Bwin's brands include Partypoker, Partycasino and FoxyBingo.
Shares in Bwin jumped nearly 10% on news of 888's approach.
888 said there was "significant industrial logic" in a tie-up with Bwin.
It added that 888 shareholders representing about 59% of its share capital had "irrevocably committed" to back the deal.
Earlier this year, bookmaker William Hill and 888 ended discussions over a possible takeover after an 888 shareholder rejected the offer as too low.
Bwin.party has sponsored a number of high-profile European football clubs, including Real Madrid, AC Milan and Bayern Munich and Olympique de Marseille, and is a casino partner of Manchester United.
The current company was formed from the merger of London-listed Party Gaming and Austrian group Bwin in 2011.
In March, it announced that core earnings for 2014 had fallen by 6% to €101.2m (£73.5m).