William Hill’s UK bookmaking business could be broken up if its preferred £2.9bn sale to US sports betting partner Caesars Entertainment goes ahead.
Rival bookmakers the Done brothers, who own the BetFred chain of betting shops, have indicated an interest in the 1,400 Hill betting shops and other bidders are likely.
Caesars has indicated that it is not interested in the UK operation as it seeks to expand its interest in the burgeoning US sports betting business in which the Caesars-Hill partnership has a 29 per cent market share.
Caesars said that in the event of its successful bid for Hill, it would “seek suitable partners or owners” for the other Hill business.
Hill’s expressed preference for the Caesars deal appears to have shut out the approach from Apollo Global Management and during the run-up to Hill expressing a preference for the Caesars option, the American operator had made it plain that if the Apollo bid was accepted by the shareholders, it would walk away from the US sports betting partnership.