888 to aquire William Hill’s non-US assets
The operator has agreed to acquire the non-US business for £2.2bn in September, claiming it would establish a worldwide pioneer in the industry.
If the William Hill retail property is retained, the formerly online-only 888 will enter the retail channel for the first time. 888 has obtained all required anti-trust and gaming regulatory authorizations as part of the acquisition.
The deal is still subject to the satisfaction of certain other remaining conditions, including the approval of 888’s shareholders, with a meeting and subsequent vote set to take place early next year. The shareholder circular and prospectus, required for shareholders to vote on the deal, are set to be issued in early 2022.
According to 888, several requirements must be met before the deal may be finalized.
- The Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom must accept the re-admission of 888 ordinary shares to the top listing part of its Main List.
- The London Stock Exchange must also confirm the re-admission to trading on the primary market for listed securities.
- The William Hill group must be restructured in order to separate the US and non-US enterprises.
Itai Pazner, CEO at 888, stated:
“With superior size, leading technology, enhanced diversity, and a foundation for rapid development, underpinned by a portfolio of famous brands, this deal will establish one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses.”
Guy Cohen has been named as senior vice president and director of integration. Cohen was formerly senior vice president and head of B2C at 888. He will now collaborate with the executive team at William Hill to accelerate integration procedures ahead of the transaction.
888 also restated intentions to raise around £500 million through the issuance of fresh stock in a capital offering, which is scheduled to happen before the acquisition’s completion.
Pazner went on to say:
“Guy Cohen’s hiring also enhances our leadership and commitment to this critical process, as we seek to use the tremendous experience and talent from both companies to benefit the merged company.” I’m thrilled that we’ve now crossed off a number of critical checkpoints on our way to completing the purchase. We now anticipate the acquisition to close in the first quarter of 2022, based on the tremendous progress we have made, and we are pleased about the prospects that await us as we merge two powerful and compatible businesses.”
The William Hill International company, now operated by Caesars Entertainment, was purchased by the entertainment company in April 2021 for £2.9 billion. Saying this, Caesars was confident that the purchase would only be for William Hill’s US operations, with the rest being sold during summer. The company had in mind to track down a buyer and finalize the acquisition in the span of a year.