888 Holdings to acquire William Hill International from Caesars for £2.2bn
888 Holdings Plc, a Gibraltar-based gambling company, has agreed to acquire the non-US business of William Hill, operating as William Hill International (WHI), for £2.2 billion, from Caesars Entertainment.
According to 888 Holdings, the acquisition will create a global major in online betting and gaming by combining a couple of highly complementary businesses and leading brands.
888 Holdings further stated that the acquisition provides a transformational opportunity to considerably grow its scale, diversify its product mix, and expedite the upward shift of its revenue growth profile.
The combination of 888 and William Hill International is anticipated to offer substantial operating efficiencies, which include pre-tax cost synergies of at least £100 million annually, thereby resulting in enhanced profit margins.
Itai Pazner — CEO of 888 Holdings said: “The acquisition of William Hill International is a transformational and hugely exciting moment in 888’s history. This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, exceptional brands, increased diversification, and a platform for strong growth.
“William Hill is an iconic sports brand, making it the ideal complement to 888, one of the leading global online gaming brands. Our strategies are also complementary, being digitally led, customer focused, and committed to player protection and raising industry standards around safer gambling.
“We are also excited about the opportunities that the Retail business provides and see significant brand benefits to the Enlarged Group from its large estate.”
Established in 1934, William Hill has more than 1,400 retail betting shops in the UK, and around two million active UK customers online.
William Hill’s main territories in Europe are Italy, Spain and the Nordics. Recently, the bookmaker had launched in Latin America. Along with the William Hill brand, William Hill International operates the Mr Green brand as well across Europe.
Ulrik Bengtsson — CEO of William Hill International said: “The William Hill and 888 strategies are highly complementary with an absolute focus on the product and customer experience. Scale is increasingly important in our sector and the combination of the businesses will provide a powerful alignment of brands and technology.
“This transaction is a testament to the progress William Hill has made over the last two years, our unrelenting focus on customer, team and execution and, most importantly, the dedication and commitment of William Hill colleagues.”
The closing of the deal, which is subject to the approval of 888 Holdings’ shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary conditions, is expected to occur during the first half of next year.