888 offers £2 billion to William Hill for European operations

888 offers £2 billion to William Hill for European operations

888 that is registered on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “888” has announced that it is in talks with Ceasers Entertainment Inc to acquire the European operations of William Hill. The announcement was made by 888 after The Times made a premature report that William Hill’s European operations were acquired by 888 after outbidding two rivals namely, Appollo Capital Management, a private equity company who offered £2 billion and CVC Partners, who offered £2.76 billion even as reports last week stated that CVC Partners had dropped out of the race for acquiring the European operations of William Hill.

888 has cautioned that even as talks are in place, there is no certainty that a deal would indeed take place as a matter of certainty. The figure of £2 billion may be on the higher side when the expectations of analysts were in the range of £1.2 billion (US$1.65 billion) and £1.7 billion (US$2.34 billion).

Is a deal long overdue?

The European operations of William Hill were put up for sale since last year when Ceasers acquired William Hill for the US $3.69 billion. At the time of acquiring William Hill, the Nevada based Ceasers Entertainment Inc had announced that there was no interest in the European operations of William Hill and that the European operations of William Hill would be sold to an interested party. Ceasers was only interested in the United States operations of William Hill which was growing rapidly as the ban on betting was lifted by the United States Supreme Court and the states began to regulate the sports betting and gambling market.

Why no interest in the European operations of William Hill

The European operations of William Hill are profitable but with a growing backlash in Europe as regards sports betting and gambling, the United States market is more lucrative because it is growing and the ban on gambling and sports lifting has been lifted. Ceasers is entering many states in the United States and is expanding rapidly in that market.

Growing backlash and the reforms passed by the government in the United Kingdom have led to the closure of 700 out of the 2100 outlets in the United Kingdom. Restrictions include reductions in the maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals of £100 i.e. (US$138) to £2 i.e. (US$2.76). 110 more outlets were shut down as the number of customers was not expected to rise amid the global pandemic and the numbers were not expected to rise to the numbers pre-pandemic in the near future.

Is 888 interested?

Considering the operations of 888, it is unlikely to be interested in retail outlets. 888 would be interested in the digital operations of William Hill’s European operations, in markets such as Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom that have earned revenue to the tune of £802.8m (the US $1.1 billion) in 2020. It is possible that the retail outlet business could be resold again in case 888 acquires the European operations of William Hill.

sherlock

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.