American casino giant Caesars Entertainment, Inc. on Thursday completed the acquisition of British sportsbook William Hill in a £ 2.9 billion ($ 4 billion) deal that cleared its last hurdle earlier this week.
The closing of the transaction saw William Hill delisted from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday morning and Caesars assumed full ownership and control of the operator’s land-based and digital assets.
The deal was originally announced last September when William Hill chose the Caesars offer about a rival offer of the American private equity firm Apollo Global Management. As mentioned above, the proposed acquisition overcame a final hurdle a few days ago when the UK High Court gave the green light to close on April 22.
The court, which held a hearing on the acquisition in late March, delayed its ruling by a few weeks after several hedge funds with stakes in William Hill submitted letters to its board of directors, arguing that the bookmaker had not disclosed “potentially relevant” information on the deal before the November shareholders vote.
In his ruling, Judge Alistair Norris said the deal documentation contained “sufficient information” for William Hill’s stakeholders “to make an informed decision on the issue presented in the scheme.”
What’s next for the extended group?
Caesars said Thursday that the addition of William Hill gives it the ability to maximize opportunities within the US online casino and sports betting space. The expanded group currently offers sports betting services in 18 states, in 13 of which it offers mobile betting.
Caesars further noted that it hopes to be operational in 20 jurisdictions with legal sports betting by the end of the year.
The recently completed acquisition further expands the reach of the casino operator’s loyalty program, Caesars Rewards, by giving William Hill customers access to the program and the ability to earn tier status that they can use at all based properties. on the ground and online from Caesars.
The acquisition of the British sportsbook also enables Caesars to offer a unique wallet offering of digital gaming and betting products within the group in the future.
The casino center confirmed Thursday that it previously announced plans to get rid of William Hill’s operations outside of the US once to close its acquisition. The British gambling firm is the third largest sports betting operator in the US and its new owner plans to focus its attention on further growing its presence.
However, Caesars has apparently started looking for buyers for William Hill’s UK online and retail operations, as well as its international online gambling business. Several potential buyers have already expressed interest in acquiring the section of the bookmaker outside of the US, being Apollo and gambling operators 888 and Entain some of them.
It also emerged on Thursday that the changes have already begun at William Hill in the US, where its longtime CEO Joe Asher has left office. Gaming news outlet CDC Gaming Reports broke the news.
Fountain: CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES THE COMPLETION OF THE ACQUISITION OF WILLIAM HILL PLC, Caesars Entertainment Press Room, April 22, 2021