UPDATE 1-Bwin.party says talks with suitors enter next stage

Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:28am EDT
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* Says received a number of proposals

* Full-year earnings hurt by declines in poker

* Shares edge higher (Adds executive comments, analyst reaction, shares)

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Online gambling firm Bwin.party said talks about selling all or part of its business had become more serious, as it battles headwinds such as the decline of regulated poker markets in Europe.

Bwin, which was created by a merger of sports betting group bwin and online poker group PartyGaming in 2011, said in November it was considering a range of proposals from interested parties.

Canada's Amaya Gaming, which last year bought online gambling sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, was one party named in media reports last year as being interested.

Bwin's chairman Philip Yea confirmed on Wednesday that the group was considering a number of indicative proposals.

"The board has entered into a further stage of discussions with each party with a view to assessing the relative attractions of these proposals," he told reporters.

Shares in Bwin, down 32 percent in the last 12 months, were trading up 2 percent at 80 pence at 1051 GMT.   Continued...