Is a breakup on the cards for William Hill following Caesars deal?
William Hill Takeover
Rather than surrender itself to a private equity company, leading UK bookmaker William Hill has instead decided to sell itself to one of its rivals in a £2.9 Billion deal which could result in the breakup of the British betting operator.
A takeover bid made by US casino giant Caesars has been accepted by the board of William Hill and this has strengthened their position with regard to expanding into the huge US online gaming market.
Should this bid go ahead as is looking likely, then Caesars would focus primarily on William Hill’s US assets and it would be hunting for ‘suitable partners’ for the bookmaker’s other businesses, including their UK operations.
This latest takeover news appears to put to an end the possibility that William Hill would be bought-out by Apollo Global Management, however in fairness the Caesars deal was always the more probable given that the two companies already operate a joint US venture. The latter has stated that any deal with Apollo could result in this venture being terminated.
William Hill has long been a presence on the UK high street having been founded in 1934 and they have recently expanded into the US market, however following a UK government crackdown and increased legislation, hundreds of their ‘bricks and mortar’ betting shops were rendered unprofitable.
The offer of 272 pence for each William Hill share made by Caesars will require the approval of 75% of the bookmaker’s shareholders. Shares in Caesars were boosted by the takeover news while those of William Hill completely erased earlier losses.