Bidding war for bookie William Hill

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A major takeover bid is taking place for the William Hill bookmaking group following an approach by Apollo Global Management.



Over the weekend various reports have been circulating the financial press suggesting that two cash proposals were before the company, which has been moved to issue a board reponse to the talk.

Hill confirmed that it had received a cash proposal from Apollo and from Caesars Entertainment. Discussions, it said, are ongoing, as the shares in the company rose 41 per cent on Friday. The group now has a market value of £3.1bn.

Apollo has a track record in gambling investment, joining with TPG in 2008 to buy out Harrah’s Entertainment (subsequently renamed Caesars) and in 2019 it took a stake in Gamenet Group in Italy.

While all of this is going on, William Hill is in talks with Caesar’s, its partner in sports betting in the US, over a possible merger of their operations. The US market in sports betting is very much a target for William Hill, with the expansion of that sector coming at a time when the group’s UK base has been hit with betting office closures following the UK government’s revision of the stakes on fixed odds betting terminals downwards.

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