Betting on a merger

Aug 11, 2008 7:45 PM

by Ray Poirier | Youbet.com (UBET) is pushing its way out of the red and sees the acquisition of competitor Television Games Network (TVG) as another means of growing its advance deposit wagering division (ADW).

TVG, leading ADW outlet in the country with a television network that reaches more than 30 million homes, is being offered for sale by its new owner, Macrovision Solutions Corp., which picked up TVG when it bought Gemstar-TV Guide two months ago.

At that time, Macrovision Solutions indicated it planned to sell TVG, which handled a record $478 million in wagers last year.

Macrovision said they had found multiple buyers interested in TVG and had entered into a phase that allows potential buyers the opportunity to due its due diligence before making an offer.

For Youbet.com, the merger with TVG would be a natural. Youbet has paid TVG fees to offer TVG signals on its wagering platform.

A spokesman for Youbet.com said the company sees "substantial synergies that might be realized if we were to combine our business with theirs."

Meanwhile, if there is anybody in the racing business looking to buy a totalizator company, Youbet.com has one for sale. Its United Tote has been an underperformer since it was acquired a half-dozen years ago.