Major US acquisition fund Apollo Global Management announced Thursday that it no longer intends to make a full takeover bid for William Hill, effectively ending the bidding war for the legacy bookmaker.
Apollo’s announcement comes days after the private equity firm backed Czech private lottery operator SAZKA Group with a € 500 million investment and submitted a Cdn $ 3.3 billion offering to Canadian casino operator Great Canadian Gaming.
Apollo injects € 500 million into SAZKA and buys a Canadian casino giant
William Hill revealed in late September that he was approached by various parties interested in acquiring it. It quickly became known that Apollo and the home of Caesars Entertainment Inc. they were among the suitors surrounding the British gambling house.
Caesars finally made a £ 2.9 billion formal offer, which William Hill accepted. The deal is subject to the gaming operator’s shareholders voting in favor and is expected to close in the second half of 2021. Caesars already owns 20% of William Hill’s US business.
The casino operator said that when the transaction closes, would focus primarily on William Hill’s operations in the United States and it would likely sell the company’s business in the UK and Europe.
Earlier this week, it emerged that several private equity firms are doing the numbers for William Hill’s operations outside of the United States and CVC Partners, Apax Partners and Apollo they were named as potential buyers of those assets.
The US branch of William Hill runs physical gambling houses on casino properties, including those owned by Caesars, throughout the United States, as well as digital gambling services. As for its operations outside the United States, these include retail gambling shops in the United Kingdom and online gambling products in various European markets.
Apollo can still bid for William Hill under certain circumstances
In a statement released Thursday, Apollo said that while it has decided not to bid for William Hill at this time, it may change its mind if certain circumstances arise.
The private equity fund said that if Caesars withdraw your offer or the deal expires, would go on to bid for William Hill. You would also approach the bookmaker if a third party announces a firm intention to bid on it.
Also, if William Hill announces a ‘cover-up’ proposal or a reverse takeover proposal, or if any material change in circumstances occurs, Apollo could move closer to the gaming operator, as the acquisition giant noted in its statement Thursday.
Apollo also confirmed that he is interested in William Hill’s business outside of the U.S. and that your decision not to make a full takeover offer does not affect your intentions to potentially purchase the UK and international businesses from the bookmaker.