888 makes ‘big progress’ towards closing deal with William Hill in early 2022 | Horse racing news
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888 made a deal to buy William Hill International in September
Online games operator 888 said on Tuesday it planned to complete its £ 2.2bn purchase of William Hill’s European operations in the first quarter of next year after making “strong progress”.
The two companies reached a deal in September that will give 888 a retail presence for the first time through the acquisition of the 1,400 betting store estate from William Hill.
888 said all mandatory antitrust and gaming regulatory clearances have been received and a circular and prospectus is expected to be issued in early 2022, with a shareholder vote to follow.
The company said it plans to raise around £ 500million in equity before the acquisition closes, which is expected to happen sooner than expected.
888 has been confirmed as the successful bidder for William Hill International following a standoff with private equity group Apollo Global Management.
US casino giant Caesars Entertainment finalized a £ 2.9 billion acquisition of William Hill in April, but they made it clear they were only interested in the US side of the company and would sell their activities in Europe.
Itai Pazner, Managing Director of 888, said, “This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, advanced technology, increased diversification and a strong platform. growth, supported by a portfolio of iconic brands. “
He continued, “I am delighted that we have now taken a number of important steps towards completing the acquisition. Given the considerable progress we have made, we now expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2022 and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we combine two powerful and complementary businesses. “
888 has appointed Guy Cohen as SVP, Director of Integration, to work alongside a senior team from William Hill.
Pazner said Cohen’s “critical role” will strengthen the “leadership and commitment of the company in this important process, as we seek to leverage the considerable expertise and talent of both companies for the benefit of the group. combined”.
The update was called “positive” by David Brohan, games and entertainment analyst at brokerage firm Goodbody.
However, shares of 888 were down 5.4 pence to 318.4 pence on Tuesday morning.
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FIRST PUBLISHED AT 10:55 AM, NOVEMBER 30, 2021