888 Shareholders Approve William Hill Purchase, Eye June Completion Date

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on May 16, 2022
888 will own one of the largest retail and online gambling bookmakers in the UK.

Shareholders of 888 Holdings have approved the $2.4 billion purchase of William Hill’s non-US assets. The deal with Caesars Entertainment – which acquired William Hill for $3.5 billion in 2021 – has been several months in the making.

Once finished, 888 will own one of the largest retail and online gambling bookmakers in the UK.

Completing the William Hill deal

Lord Mendelsohn, the non-executive chairman of 888 Holdings, expects the deal to close at the end of June.

“We are delighted with the support of our shareholders for our proposed acquisition of William Hill and would like to thank them for their continued, constructive engagement as part of this process. We look forward to completing this transformational acquisition at the end of June, creating a global online betting and gaming leader through the combination of two highly complementary businesses and two of the industry’s leading brands.”

During the company’s first-quarter earnings call, 888 CEO Itai Pazner said terms of the original $3 billion purchase were renegotiated.

“Having revised the transaction terms for William Hill and completed an equity placing to part-fund the deal, we are on track to complete in June and continue to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader.”

888 trades on the London Stock Exchange, and as of writing, shares were trading at $191.40.

What does this mean for 888?

The company said the William Hill purchase represents an omni-channel opportunity in the UK. The sportsbook operator has 1,400 betting shops in the UK and controls the online brands Mr Green and Redbet. With these additions, 888 could become the third-largest publicly-traded online gaming operator in the world. But 888 will have some financial details to sort out. Last year, William Hill’s European business reported a net loss of $281.38 million despite a 7.3% year-over-year increase in revenue.

Debt relief for Caesars Entertainment

The idea of the original acquisition was to leverage the William Hill brand to help Caesars become a significant competitor in the online sports betting market.

Having offloaded its European assets, Caesars can use the money to pay down some of its $14.3 billion debt.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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