Sunday 18 February 2018

Rank and 888 in formal bid for William Hill

William Hill
William Hill

Ravender Sembhy

Rank Group and 888 have submitted a formal £3.6bn (€4.2bn) offer for William Hill as the duo press ahead with plans for a three-way merger.

Online operator 888 and casino giant Rank came clean over their interest in a merger with the high street bookmaker in July, highlighting what they see as "significant industrial logic in the combination".

The offer is understood to be 364p per share, rising to 408p when taking into account efficiencies and synergy savings.

It is also thought that the deal involves saddling the newly formed company with a large amount of debt.

William Hill's board was expected to meet yesterday to discuss the offer before a formal response is released to the stock market.

At the time of the original approach, William Hill said it "would listen to and consider any proposal which might be forthcoming".

However, it added that it is "not clear that a combination of William Hill with 888 and Rank will enhance William Hill's strategic positioning or deliver superior value to William Hill's strategy which is focused on increasing the group's diversification by growing its digital and international businesses".

Last week William Hill said that half-year profits were boosted by a strong Euro 2016 football tournament, helping offset a dire Cheltenham Festival in racing.

Irish Independent

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