Caesars overcomes antitrust hurdle to William Hill acquisition

By Ucatchers

Casino operator Caesars Entertainment, Inc. has obtained US antitrust clearance for the acquisition of British sportsbook William Hill and anticipates that the transaction will close in March 2021.

In a statement released Monday, the casino house, formed by this year’s $ 17.3 billion merger between Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Eldorado Resorts, announced the early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott Antitrust Improvements Act. -Rodino of 1976 (HSR Act) in connection with its proposed acquisition of William Hill.

When enforced more than 40 years ago, the HSR Act established a federal pre-merger notification program, the purpose of which is to provide the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice with information on major mergers and acquisitions deals before they actually happen.

The parties involved in such agreements must file certain forms with the federal authorities and cannot close the transactions until the waiting period has passed or the authorities have granted early termination of the waiting period.

Since it has obtained federal antitrust clearance for the William Hill acquisition, Caesars said it continues to work to overcome other regulatory hurdles before the transaction can be finalized.

Caesars approached William Hill with a formal takeover offer in September that the British sportsbook’s board was quick to recommend. Caesars’ offer valued William Hill at £ 2.9 billion. The deal was strongly endorsed by William Hill shareholders in late November.

Regulatory approvals

The transaction must obtain approval from online gambling regulators in various states before it can be closed. Caesars said Monday that its combination with William Hill received the go-ahead from the Mississippi Gaming Commission on November 19 and West Virginia Lottery on December 16.

The multi-million dollar alliance is still subject to approval by the Indiana Gaming Commission, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

In addition, the agreement requires the final approval of the High Court of Justice of Englandas well as post-closure and administrative approvals for a number of US agencies.

Caesars said that while it still has a long way to go to satisfy all closing conditions, it believes the deal is on track to close in March 2021.

Caesars has set great goals for the growth of William Hill once it becomes part of the casino giant. The casino operator already owns 20% of the bookmaker’s sports betting business in the US. through a joint venture he formed with William Hill in 2018.

It’s the betting firm’s US operations that Caesars is most interested in and in which I would seek to grow in the future. The casino operator said it would sell William Hill’s UK and international assets after the acquisition deal closes next spring.

William Hill is already a major player in several US states. where sports betting is legal and Caesars will work to increase the betting operator’s market share in these and other states.

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