Caesars Takeover of William Hill Passes Final Hurdle

Caesars Takeover of William Hill Passes Final Hurdle

The takeover of William Hill by U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment has been approved in a British court. It seems not everyone is happy about the deal.

Minority shareholder HBK Capital Management and GWM Asset Management had raised concerns over the takeover. They opposed the £2.9 million deal believing that William Hill’s shareholders were not given all the information needed to consider all the merits of the deal. They claimed that William Hill had “failed to disclose potentially material information” relating to the deal.

This led to a hearing at the High Court of Justice in England and Wales. The complaint that William Hill had misled shareholders and the general public was not accepted by the court. That was the last hurdle to be cleared and now the deal between William Hill and Caesar’s Entertainment will go ahead.

Caesars Agree to buy William Hill Group

It was in September 2020 that Caesars Entertainment agreed to buy the William Hill group. A shareholders meeting was held two months later to discuss the deal. 87% of shareholders voted in favour of the deal. Caesars Entertainment will acquire 1.08 billion shares at £2.72 each.

Over in the States, the deal had to receive approval from Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Jersey and that has been achieved.

The deal is likely to come into force on April 22. This will see trading in William Hill’s stock being suspended on the London Stock Exchange from 7.30am.

The two companies have had joint ventures in recent times. There have been changes in the way gambling is run in the USA. This has seen many states legalizing sports betting. Experienced companies are needed to run the sportsbooks and William Hill were quick to grab a share. They joined up with Caesars Entertainment to operate sportsbooks in states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Jersey. Caesars Entertainment has a 20% stake in this joint venture.

Largest Gambling Companies in the World

It’s believed that Caesars would pull out of those ventures if their takeover bid had not been successful. Their joint venture agreement, according to HBK had a list of ‘Restricted Acquirers’ and that included Apollo Global Management who had also shown interest in taking over William Hill. Such action led it to be believed that this would prevent Apollo from making a rival bid.

It’s the latest acquisition by Caesars Entertainment who are fast becoming one of the largest gambling companies in the world. They have over 50 gaming properties throughout the USA and are the largest casino and entertainment company in that country.

We don’t know how this will change the long-standing bookmakers. They haven’t had the best of years with several of their High Street betting shops being closed. Then came the pandemic and those shops still open being temporarily closed. Online business has gone well though, now we have to wait to see what the future holds.