Two London-listed gambling groups are involved in a £500m bidding war for PlanetWin365, a major Italian rival.
Sky News has learnt that Flutter Entertainment, which owns Paddy Power and Betfair, and Playtech, which trades under the consumer-facing brand Snaitech, have both lodged bids for PlanetWin’s parent, SKS365.
City sources said the auction was expected to fetch in the region of £500m, and potentially as much as £600m.
Lottomatica, an Italian gaming group, is also said to be interested.
A takeover of that scale would be material for Playtech, which has a market capitalisation of £1.4bn, but not for Flutter, which is valued at nearly £24bn.
Both Flutter and Playtech already have existing operations in Italy.
PlanetWin365 trades online and also has a significant physical retail presence with around 1,000 betting shops.
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Its consumer brands include PlanetSpin.
Bankers at Lazard are handling the auction process.
Earlier this week, Flutter announced the 141m Euro purchase of a controlling stake in MaxBet, a Serbian gaming group.
The FTSE-100 company is in the process of shifting its primary listing to New York in a move perceived as a blow to the London stock market.
Flutter and Playtech declined to comment.