Privately-owned Irish bookmaker BoyleSports has reportedly become the latest to express an interest in buying at least some of the British assets of William Hill following the brand’s recent purchase by casino giant Caesars Entertainment Incorporated.
According to a Sunday report from the Racing Post, the Dundalk-headquartered sportsbetting firm has just 66 retail shops in the United Kingdom while the estate of William Hill encompasses some 1,400 locations as well as the online service at WilliamHill.com. The source detailed that BoyleSports has long been keen on further expanding into the British market and attempted to purchase the Tote in 2008 only to lose out to rival operator Betfred.
The move from BoyleSports, which is now being led by new boss Mark Kemp, reportedly comes after Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment Incorporated finalized a deal worth approximately $5.1 billion in April to purchase William Hill. However, this buyer could purportedly earn up to $2 billion by carrying out a plan that would see it offload the entirety of the sportsbetting brand’s non-American assets.
An unidentified spokesperson for BoyleSports reportedly told the Racing Post that their company ‘would certainly be interested in acquiring some or all’ of the shops William Hill has in the United Kingdom and is keen on ‘any other opportunity that makes sense for our business’. The representative purportedly moreover proclaimed that the operator currently has 45 locations in Northern Ireland alongside an additional 21 spread across Great Britain and now possesses a ‘sizeable foothold’ in the nation’s retail and iGaming market courtesy of a ‘recently upgraded online betting site.’
The second largest bookmaker in Ireland, BoyleSports reportedly began building up its portfolio in the United Kingdom in 2019 via the acquisition from independent entity Wilf Gilbert of 13 retail Midlands locations. The company subsequently followed up this deal by buying 33 shops in Northern Ireland from William Hill before inking an arrangement last autumn with local rival HughesBet to purchase a further six sportsbetting locations in the province.
The spokesperson from BoyleSports reportedly declared…
“We have made no secret of our ambition to be one of the principal operators on the United Kingdom’s high street and believe that our retail and digital offerings represent a best-in-class, safe and enjoyable proposition for the betting public. The sale of the William Hill estate presents us with a rare opportunity to achieve the retail scale we have been targeting.”
The Racing Post reported that American private equity behemoth Apollo Global Management Incorporated had been the main competitor to Caesars Entertainment Incorporated’s campaign to buy William Hill via a $4 billion proposition of its own. This New York-based firm is now purportedly among the front-runners to buy the bookmaker’s operations outside of the United States but is likely set to face stiff opposition from BoyleSports alongside British land-based and online sportsbook operator Entain.