The plot thickens with the proposed acquisition of the William Hill Group by Caesars Entertainment.
While the Caesars bid has been accepted by the Hill board, there are other likely players before the deal closes.
The UK press over the weekend was full of speculation over possible rival bids still coming in, despite Caesars’ contention that if they don’t complete the buy out then they would walk away from the lucrative deal that they have going with Hill in the US sports betting business, which so far has cornered one-third of the market.
The Done brothers, who have a UK bookmaker’s office network, had indicated that they would bid for the 1,400 WMH betting shops in the UK – following Caesars’ statement that they would seek buyers for the UK business.
In yesterday’s business section of the Sunday Telegraph, however, that bid has been stepped up, according to the newspaper, and the BetFred chain would attempt to “gate crash” the Hill-Caesars deal and go for the entire business.
The Done brothers already hold six per cent of the Hill shares and went on record to the degree that it was considering all options, suggesting to the pundits that they would go for the whole business. The newspapers also speculated that the original bidder, Apollo Global Management, might come back with a fresh bid.