Caesars Entertainment to acquire William Hill for £2.9 billion
October 1, 2020
Caesars Entertainment and William Hill have announced yesterday in a statement that they have reached an agreement “on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition pursuant to which Caesars will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of William Hill for approximatively £2.9 billion”.
“The opportunity to combine our land-based casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect. William Hill’s sport betting expertise will complement Caesar’s current offering, enabling the combined group to serve our customers in the fast-growing U.S sports betting and online market”, said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg.
“We look forward to working to working with William Hill to support future growth in the U.S. by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting and entertainment”, he added. “The William Hill Board believed this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders. It recognizes the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximize the U.S opportunity given intense competition in the U.S. and the potential for regulatory disruption in the U.K and Europe”, said Roger Devlin, Chairman of William Hill. Caesars, which believes that the sports betting and online gaming sector represent one of the largest areas of growth in the U.S gaming industry, and William Hill currently operate a U.S. joint venture with 20% and 80% equity ownership respectively. Through this joint venture, William Hill runs online sports betting operations through Caesars' market access in each state and retail sports betting operations in Caesars' properties as well as those of other casino operators around the United States.
This acquisition, which is subject to anti-trust and regulatory approval, would make Caesars one of the largest gaming/entertaining companies in the U.S and William Hill one of the world’s leading betting and gambling companies. Its completion is expected to take place in the second half of 2021. It is also subject to the approval of William Hill’s shareholders. The combined company would be able to utilize the expertise and assets contained in both companies to better serve customers in the highly competitive online gaming and sports betting space throughout the U.S., while its market access across the U.S. would be increased and would benefit from a broad network of sports books locations. It would also provide a more unified customer experience, would have a world-class portfolio of assets and brands, will also be afforded the ability to access Caesars' extensive and pre-existing relationships with dozens of sports teams and events including being the Exclusive Casino Sponsor of the NFL. William Hill would finally be afforded complete access to Caesars' brand loyalty program.