aesars Entertainment and William Hill announce today that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition pursuant to which Caesars will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of William Hill for approximately £2.9 billion.
The historic acquisition would bring together Caesars as one of the largest gaming-entertainment companies in the U.S. and one of the world's most diversified gaming entertainment provisions, and William Hill as one of the world's leading betting and gambling companies. The Acquisition is subject to anti-trust and regulatory approvals and completion is expected to take place in the second half of 2021.
"The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect," said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg. "William Hill's sports betting expertise will complement Caesars' current offering, enabling the combined group to serve our customers in the fast-growing U.S. sports betting and online market. We look forward to working with William Hill to support future growth in the U.S. by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting, and entertainment."
"The William Hill Board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders," said Roger Devlin, Chairman of William Hill, commenting on the Acquisition. "It recognizes the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximize the U.S. opportunity given intense competition in the U.S. and the potential for regulatory disruption in the U.K. and Europe."
"Under the revitalized senior leadership team, William Hill has been delivering on its strategy and potential. William Hill is one of the world's leading betting and gambling companies, with a long and proud heritage. It is one of the most recognized brands globally. Over recent years, it has transformed from a business once heavily reliant on U.K. retail into a company that is truly diversified by geography and channel, providing a stable standalone platform for future growth."
"For now, it is very much business as usual. Employees will be kept fully informed through this process. In terms of our U.K. and International businesses, we believe they have a strong future ahead and we will work with Caesars to find suitable partners to further the long-term growth prospects of these businesses."
Caesars official statement
Compelling Strategic Rationale
Together with iGaming, which is currently outside the scope of the joint venture, Caesars expects that the enlarged sports and online gaming business in the U.S. could generate between US$600-US$700 million in net revenue in FY2021 (on a pro-forma basis).
Caesars' strategic focus remains on the opportunities immediately evident in the U.S. market at this stage. It believes in the compelling proposition that William Hill's presence in the U.K. and other non-U.S. international markets offers to their gaming customers in those markets and believes those businesses have a strong future. In order to best maximize those propositions and support those businesses' long-term ambitions following completion of the Acquisition, Caesars' intention is to seek suitable partners or owners who have aligned objectives and approaches, and who will be focused on the longer-term ambitions of those businesses and for the benefit of its customers.
The Acquisition shall be put to William Hill Shareholders at the Court Meeting and at the General Meeting. In order to become effective, the Scheme must be approved by a majority in number of the William Hill Shareholders voting at the Court Meeting, either in person or by proxy, representing at least 75 per cent. in value of the William Hill Shares voted.