The gambling and betting markets are holding their breaths for the next big takeover in the industry. William Hill, the UK’s largest bookmaker with 2,300 betting shops across Britain – together with GVC Holdings, B2B and B2C services provider to online gaming companies – are about to close on a £530 million deal with Sportingbet. The anticipated agreement enables William Hill to take over Sportingbet’s gambling-regulated markets in Spain and Australia – and GVC Holdings to gain the acquired company’s holdings in riskier and less regulated locations.
With William Hill on a global expansion push (it recently purchased three businesses in Nevada), the expected takeover expands its international portfolio. After all, Sportingbet has markets in 28 countries and more than 700,000 active customers. Its Australian business alone is said to be responsible for almost 70 percent of its revenues.
What are the odds of this deal happening?
While a successful bid is not a certainty, bid discussions are said to be preliminary, and both sides had until November 13 to finalize it, before receiving an extension to their deadline.
Odds are the buyout will happen. Sportingbet has agreed to William Hill’s latest proposal of £530 million – which is 20 percent higher than last month’s previous offer. The agreed-upon deal is a mix of cash and stock, with shares valued at 61.1 pence per share. Sportingbet had rejected the previous offer of 52.5 pence.
Shares in both William Hill and Sportingbet rose after the announcement. Is William Hill the “white knight bidder” that Sportingbet was thought to have been seeking?