The US group overtakes the Apollo investment fund in the race to take over the British bookmaker
The US group of hotels and casinos Caesars has entered a phase of “advanced negotiations” with the bookmaker William Hill and has submitted a purchase offer of 2.9 billion pounds (3.2 billion euros), according to the British firm it’s a statement. The offer comes after William Hill confirmed Friday that it had received no proposals from Caesars and the Apollo investment fund.
The power of Caesars over William Hill, with whom it already has a business partnership in the US, “makes rival offers unlikely,” said Gavin Kelleher, an analyst at Goodbody, to the Bloomberg agency. In addition, the US gambling company said Monday that William Hill’s board will likely put the price of its offer to sell at 2.9 billion pounds, the same amount that Caesars has offered.
The British house has already shown interest in expanding into the US market following the legalization of sports betting by the Supreme Court in 2018. Caesars has said that its joint venture with William Hill “you need to expand your reach to maximize your opportunities in the sports betting and gaming industry.” However, he has threatened to withdraw from some of the associations with William Hill if he loses the battle with Apollo.
Caesars’ offer is 2.72 pounds per share, which represents a premium of more than 57% compared to the price of September 1, the last trading day before the first contact between the two companies. It also represents an increase of almost 81% compared to the weighted average of the price of the British bookmaker in the three months before September 24. William Hill’s board of directors has already been in favor of recommending that shareholders accept it when they receive it.
Shares in the British betting company soared 43% last Friday after takeover proposals emerged, despite its poor 2020 results. William Hill posted a net loss of £ 10.4 million (11, 4 million euros) in the first half of the year, compared to earnings of 46 million (50.3 million euros) in the same period of the previous year.
Due to confinement due to the pandemic, the income obtained from its physical premises stood at 146.9 million pounds (160.6 million euros), 62.5% less, while the internet division reached a turnover of 369 , 3 million pounds (403.7 million euros), 0.5% more. Business on company premises has also been hit hard by the 2019 regulation, when spending on slot machines was capped at £ 2, leading to the closure of more than 700 stores across the UK.