In the United Kingdom and the deal that will see American casino operator Caesars Entertainment Incorporated
purchase local land-based and online sportsbetting giant William Hill
is reportedly set to close "imminently."According to a Tuesday report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, this is the opinion of David Katz from financial services firm Jefferies after the High Court of Justice sanctioned the acquisition yesterday following a legal challenge from a number of William Hill shareholders.
The newspaper reported that Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment Incorporated agreed the £3.7 billion ($5.1 billion) takeover of William Hill in September and was hoping to have completed the arrangement by the end of last month. This amalgamation was purportedly due to give the American buyer control over some 1,400 land-based betting shops that are spread across the United Kingdom as well as the online sportsbetting domains at WilliamHill.com and MrGreen.com.
However, this timeline was reportedly later scuppered after a brace of American hedge fund investors in William Hill launched a legal challenge amid claims that they had not been provided with enough information when they voted to approve the takeover in November. HBK Capital Management and GWM Asset Management purportedly together own approximately 11% of the London-listed bookmaker’s issued share capital and subsequently contested the merger through to the High Court of Justice.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that this legal challenge is now at an end following a ruling that the terms of the proposed deal are all above board. The newspaper reported that this means William Hill can immediately suspend trading of its shares and potentially finalize the envisioned merger from as soon as tomorrow.
In the United States and Caesars Entertainment Incorporated’s purchase of William Hill is moreover reportedly destined to give the Nevada behemoth control over the latter firm’s William Hill US entity, which is the country’s third-largest sportsbook operator. The coming acquisition will furthermore involve this subordinate assuming responsibility for online and land-based sportsbetting services connected to its new parent’s domestic estate of 54 casinos spread across 16 states as well as analogous ventures run in partnership with properties controlled by partner entities.
Tom Reeg serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Caesars Entertainment Incorporated and he reportedly told the newspaper that his company does not intend to utilize its own branding for any William Hill sportsbooks run at outside properties. The boss reportedly disclosed that his enterprise is additionally planning to offload all of the sportsbetting firm’s non-American interests after the transaction closes.
For his part and Katz reportedly also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the acquisition of William Hill is destined to be a "strong positive" for Caesars Entertainment Incorporated both financially and strategically by allowing it "to complete a comprehensive integrated strategy for land-based and digital gaming" in the United States.
Katz reportedly told the newspaper…
"Our view has been that the pace of progress is largely driven by ownership and control of the enterprise, rather than using business-to-business providers ongoing. In our view, controlling new market entry, product innovation and the economics thereof are key differentiators over time."