888 Holdings is set to acquire William Hill’s European operations after entering into advanced talks with Caesars Entertainment.
Following a report in the Times that the online and gaming operator had fended off competition to purchase William Hill’s non-US assets, 888 confirmed in a statement that it was in "advanced discussions."
The deal will see 888 acquire all of William Hill’s international activities, including more than 1,400 shops and online operations in the UK, for a sum of more than £2bn ($2.75bn). The Times report mentioned that the operator had beaten off competition from Apollo Global Management, after the likes of Betfred and Tipico dropped out of the running in the summer.
In April, Caesars Entertainment announced the acquisition of William Hill for £2.9bn, completing one of the biggest gambling mergers in recent times. It’s expected the merger will see the combined companies grow their US footprint, with the two operating sports betting in 18 states, which is expected to reach 20 by the end of the year.
At the time, Caesars mentioned that it intended to sell the non-US division of William Hill, including its UK, European and international online and retail operations.
Apollo had been favourites to land the non-US operations after CVC Capital Partners was unable to meet the price demand. Previously, Entain was reported to have been interested in the purchase but no concrete offer from the Ladbrokes and Coral operator materialised.
And now, 888 confirmed it was in advanced talks. In a statement, the operator said: "888 notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Caesars Entertainment, Inc. regarding a possible acquisition of the international (non-US) business of William Hill."
"There can be no certainty that these advanced discussions will result in a transaction. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate."
In earlier September, 888 saw its revenue for the first half of 2021 grow 39% year-on-year up to $528.4m, with its gross profit rising 40% to $352.4m for the six months ending 30 June.
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