Just days after their acquisition offer was turned down by William Hill, 888 Holdings and Rank Group have announced they will not be pursuing an attempt to merger with the gambling rival any longer. William Hill has rejected two bids for takeover within the past few weeks and the two gambling companies are now stopping their efforts.
Back in July, 888 Holdings and Rank Group announced their plans for a more than £3 billion merger with gambling giant William Hill. If the company had agreed to the acquisition deal, the merger would have created the largest gambling operator in the UK in regards to revenue generated as well as profits.
William Hill was presented with two offers within the past few weeks from 888 Holdings and Rank Group. The original bid, the bookmaker was valued at 339 pence per share. This offer was rejected and the two companies decided to up the ante, valuing the company at 352 pence per share. This bid was also rejected as William Hill felt that the offer was undervalued.
On Thursday, a joint statement was released by 888 Holdings and Rank Group which stated that they were unable to meaningfully engage with the board of William Hill. 888 Holdings CEO, Itai Frieberger, stated that the company was disappointed that William Hill did not share their vision for the combination of the businesses. According to Frieberger, the move would have resulted in ‘scale, diversification, and strong revenue and cost synergies’.
Henry Birch, the CEO of Rank Group, commented in the statement that the merger would have created substantial value for all shareholders involved. Both 888 Holdings and Rank Group stated that they would have been able to create a powerhouse in the gambling industry that would create changes in the UK as well as on a global scale, if the deal had went through.
With the announcement by Rank Group and 888 Holdings, William Hill has stated that the company will continue to focus on delivering value for shareholders by diversifying offerings both internationally as well as digitally.