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Caesars confirms advanced talks on £2.9bn William Hill bid

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

(Sharecast News) - William Hill and Caesars Entertainment on Monday confirmed they were in advanced talks on a £2.9bn cash offer for the UK bookmaker.
Caesars has offered 272p a share for William Hill, a premium of around 57.6% to the closing price of 172.55p on September 1, the last business day before Caesars' first approach.

"The William Hill board of directors has indicated to Caesars that the possible cash offer is at a price level that they would be minded to recommend to William Hill shareholders," Caesars said in a statement.

Should a firm offer be made and receive the go-ahead from shareholders and anti-competition authorities, the deal would be expected to complete in the second half of next year, Caesars said.

William Hill shares jumped soared last week after news emerged of a bidding war for the company between Caesars and private equity company Apollo.

"The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the US is a truly exciting prospect," Caesars chief executive Tom Reeg said. "William Hill's sports betting expertise will complement Caesars' current offering."

Caesars and William Hill also have an existing joint venture in the US and Caesars said that it would be able to exercise its right to terminate the arrangement if Apollo's bid was successful.

The US outfit runs its venues under the Caesars, Harrah's, Horseshoe and Eldorado brands and is best known for the Caesars Palace hotel on the Las Vegas strip where performers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Judy Garland performed.

William Hill needs an expansion in the US market, where a court ruling reversed a decades-old ban on sports betting in 2018, after curbs on fixed-odds betting terminals were introduced in Britain, leading to pre-tax losses in the last two years.


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