888 Finally Purchase William Hill’s non-US Assets

The sale of William Hill assets has been a long process but has finally been completed. 888 now own the non-US assets of William Hill, with their US assets held by Caesars Entertainment.

The American company had been working with William Hill before acquiring them in
However, Caesars then decided to sell off the non-US assets purchased and put them up for auction. Their view was that their knowledge and expertise in the European side of the William Hill business wasn’t a strong point, working in the US market was.

There was a great deal of interest in purchasing the non-US assets. The auction was won by 888 and an agreement to buy those assets was reached last September. The deal was finally concluded this week, a month after their shareholders approved the deal.

Initially, the cost of the acquisition was going to be £2.2 billion. This was then reduced by £250 million due to a “change in the macro-economic and regulatory investment.” One problem that had developed was problems William Hill were having with the UK Gambling Commission with their licence under review.

888 (who have had their own share of problems with the UK Gambling Commission) were therefore due to make an initial cash payment of £584.9 million rather than the original £834.9 million.

Itai Pazner is the CEO of 888 and he described the deal as a “transformational combination with William Hill. He’s looking forward to a successful future due to the strong leadership team and the “combination of our product and content leadership.”

He added that with “our proprietary technology, and our world class brands,” they now have a “powerful platform for growth.”

Also excited about the deal is their chair Lord Mendehlson who produced some impressive figures. His belief is that the combined business will be one of the largest online gambling operators in the world. Together they would have seen revenue of £2.13 billion last year.

He said that: “This combination brings together two high quality businesses to create a powerful, global betting and gaming business.”

Shortly before the acquisition was completed, there were some changes made in leading positions. Former William Hill chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson and their chief financial officer Eric Hageman will both be departing. Harinder Gil, who used to work for Revolut, joins as the new chief risk officer.

Mark Skinner will continue to hold the position of Chief People Officer. Satty Bhens will be the Chief Product and Technology Officer, a position that was held at William Hill.
Pazner remains CEO, while Yariv Dafna continues as Chief Financial Officer and Guy Cohen is the Chief Operating Officer in this bright new future for the company.