Caesars now looking good for William Hill deal

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The William Hill board has indicated that it will recommend to shareholders the price of the cash offer made by Caesars for its acquisition.

The bookmaker is facing two bids. One is from equity group Apollo Global Management and the other from Caesars Entertainment, whom Hill is already partnering for sports betting in the US.

If Hill sells to Apollo it could lose the joint venture with Caesars in the US, but this week a sale to Caesars looks the most likely at around £3.1bn.

In the US, news agency Fantini’s Gaming Report says that Caesars could raise up to $4bn for the $3.7bn acquisition, of which $2bn would come through an offering of 30 million shares with an over-allotment option of 4.5 million shares based upon its closing price on Monday at $58.21.

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Caesars already has 20 per cent of William Hill US and the company hopes to raise up to $2bn in debt by that route.

If the offer is accepted, then the deal could go through later next year. Currently, sports betting and igaming is one of the largest areas of growth in the US gaming industry and that is an obvious attraction for Caesars.

It believes that those sectors in the US will see revenue will reach $30bn to $35bn by 2033. Meantime it will generate $600m to $700m annually in revenue.

The plan would be to expand the William Hill-Caesars joint sports betting operations through more of Caesars’ properties. Caesars would sell off Hill’s international operations that in 2016 were the subject of bids by 888, Rank and The Stars Group.

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