William Hill agrees £2.9bn takeover deal with casino giant Caesars

PA

US casino giant Caesars has agreed a £2.9 billion takeover of UK betting shop owner William Hill.

Caesars announced on Monday that it was tabling the offer and both parties have now confirmed a deal.

The acquisition values William Hill at 272p per share, which it said represents a 25% premium on the company’s closing price on Thursday.

Last week, William Hill said it had also received a takeover approach from private equity firm Apollo but it has opted to seal the deal with Caesars.

Caesars already owns a 20% stake in William Hill’s US operations, which have exclusive rights to operate sports betting under the Caesars brand.

Roger Devlin, chairman of the UK firm, said: “The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders.

“It recognises the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximise the US opportunity, given intense competition in the US and the potential for regulatory disruption in the UK and Europe.

“Under the revitalised senior leadership team, William Hill has been delivering on its strategy and potential.”

Tom Reeg, chief executive of Caesars, said: “The opportunity to combine our land-based casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the US is a truly exciting prospect.

“William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to better serve our customers in the fast-growing US sports betting and online market.

“We look forward to working with William Hill to support future growth in the US by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting and entertainment.”