Caesars Entertainment Seeking to Acquire William Hill

William Hill is a bookmaker from the U.K. with a long history and tradition. It’s one of the oldest on the Island, and Caesars Entertainment may acquire it for approximately £2.9 billion.

Allegedly, Caesars Entertainment offered to buy shares of William Hill for cash. The offer was priced at 272 pence per share, which adds to roughly £2.9 billion if they buy all available shares.

Investors found out about Caesars’ intention via William Hill’s official statement released on the London Stock Exchange. The board of directors at William Hill hopes that the shareholders will accept this offer. If everything goes as planned, the date for acquisition should be late 2021. Caesars’ officials believe that the acquisition of William Hill would add up to $700 million of net revenue to the company annually.

Shareholders of William Hill Had a Lot to Take In

William Hill shareholders had to go through a wide range of emotions for the past couple of years. In 2015, business was good for the company, and it even made an offer to acquire 888 Holdings, their main competitor, for $1.14 billion, but 888 gave them a clear “No.”

After a year, things changed when 888 and Rank joined forces to ask about buying William Hill for £3 billion, valuing the shares of the company at 364 pence per share. However, William Hill declined this offer.

A son of one of the co-founders of 888 stated that William Hill made a mistake rejecting the offer, meaning that it would be their downfall. That turned out to be somewhat true. When William Hill started operating in the United States, its U.K. performances began experiencing issues. One of them was a £6.2 million penalty in February 2018, when the company failed to meet social responsibility and anti-money laundering regulations.

In February 2020, almost £360 million was wiped off from William Hill’s value when many investors decided to sell their shares after a disappointing update regarding the company’s finances.

COVID-19 Compounds Issues

After that, the COVID-19 pandemic messed up things for William Hill, as it has for just about every other gambling company.

Finally, the British government decided to deliver a knockout blow to the company after the maximum wager on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals was reduced from £100 to just £2.

The prices of shares started rapidly falling after that. First, it fell from 192.40 pence per share to 142.50 in a week. By March 19, the prices were at just 34.07 pence per share, and the value of the company was just £356.4 million at that moment.

Nevertheless, the company started improving in the U.S., partnering with Caesars. In fact, Caesars now owns 20% of the U.S. operations of William Hill, and certainly wants more control over it. The company recently merged with Eldorado Resorts and would continue to thrive globally if they are also able to combine with the popular British bookmaker.

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