News broke just a few days ago that Caesars Entertainment was interested in acquiring UK-based gambling group William Hill. It appears that Caesars has now agreed to purchase the brand for $3.7 billion. They will use William Hill to expand within the sports betting market of the US, a market that is growing at a rapid pace.
Details of the Deal
Caesars has plans to sell the non-US operators of William Hill and focus on the United States sector. The international operations would include over 1,400 betting shops in the United Kingdom. Caesars looks to integrate the US business few, or possibly no job losses.
Caesars Entertainment could sell the assets in the UK to Apollo, a private-equity group. This is according to media reports. If the sale failed to go through, then Caesars could launch an auction process to offload the international assets.
William Hill is partnered with casinos owned by Caesars, already offering sports betting services in these properties. Shares of William Hill hit a high on Friday, surging to 312 pence, the highest price point for shares in two years.
The board of William Hill is supportive of the Caesars deal, with market pricing indicating that investors expect that takeover to go through at 272 pence per share. The deal will be partially funded by Caesars via new stock worth $1.7 billion.
When the possibility of the sale came to light earlier this week, there was talk of a possible bidding war between Caesars and Apollo. The battle with Apollo fell away due to Caesars reportedly threatening to terminate the joint venture if the deal fell through.
For the bid to be approved, it needs to have 75% support from shareholders of William Hill.