888 Buys William Hill in $3.7 Billion Deal

September 23, 2021
8,339 Views
Mark Patrickson

888 has announced a $3.7bn takeover of William Hill International. The deal sees Las Vegas-based Caesars offload the company it bought only five months ago, citing a lack of interest in maintaining and running over 1,400 high-street bookmakers.

888 Holdings confirmed that it would be keeping all of the brick-and-mortar shops as the firm takes its first steps into that side of the gambling industry. It is also thought that generous offers were rebuffed to buy only that side of William Hill’s businesses.


Harvesting Skills

Caesars only bought William Hill with the intention of harvesting the skills required to operate in a leading gambling market such as in the UK.

In 2018 the federal ban on sports betting was overturned in the US Supreme Court leaving the gambling behemoths of America short of people who were adequately prepared to attempt an aggressive takeover of the new market.

Admitting that they were not interested in the non-US assets, Caesars found themselves in the middle of a bidding war which was ultimately won by 888.

888 chief executive Itai Panzer was excited about heading a new betting group that will employ more than 12,000 people.

"Our strategies are also complementary, being digitally led, customer focused, and committed to player protection and raising industry standards around safer gambling. We are also excited about the opportunities that the retail business provides and see significant brand benefits."

Lord Jon Mendelsohn, chair of 888, added: "We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products and brands across sports betting, gaming and poker, supported by top quality management talent from both businesses."

Although everything on the business side has been agreed, both parties must still await official approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority before a proper handover can begin.

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