Online gambling

Online gambling company 888 soars to pay less for William Hill assets

Signage is seen outside a William Hill betting store in Manchester, Britain September 9, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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  • Shares in 888 jump nearly 30%
  • The value of the transaction for William Hill has been reduced
  • 888 reduces its fundraising to partially finance the transaction
  • Cash consideration for the transaction reduced by approximately 30%

April 7 (Reuters) – British online gaming company 888 will pay a lower price to buy the international assets of William Hill from U.S. owner Caesars Entertainment , the companies said on Thursday, citing sources economic changes. and regulatory conditions.

Shares of London-listed 888 soared nearly 30% after the British company also said it would have to raise less capital to partly fund the purchase.

Las Vegas-based casino operator Caesars bought British bookmaker William Hill in a $4 billion deal last year and agreed in September to sell William Hill’s non-US assets to 888 for 2.2 billion pounds ($2.88 billion). Read more

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The purchase, 888’s largest since it listed in London nearly two decades ago, will give the pure-play online company access to William Hill’s 2 million active UK customers and 1,408 stores. paris across the UK.

The two companies have agreed that the assets now have an enterprise value of between £1.95 billion and £2.05 billion.

This means that 888 will have to pay a cash consideration of around 585 million pounds, almost 30% less than the previously agreed 834.9 million pounds, 888 said.

William Hill is subject to an ongoing licensing review by the UK Gambling Commission and addresses action points raised by the regulator in relation to its “social responsibility and anti-money laundering obligations”. ‘money,” 888 said in the statement.

The review comes at a time when UK businesses are facing rising inflation and consumers are grappling with a squeeze on the cost of living.

888, which owns online sports betting, poker and casino platforms, said it now plans to issue up to 70.8m new shares, which is around £136m at the close. from Wednesday, against earlier plans to raise around £500m.

Jefferies analysts said in a note that they believe the deal “makes strategic and financial sense,” adding that it would materialize in 888’s balance sheet.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by June 2022.

($1 = 0.7642 pounds)

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Reporting by Sinchita Mitra, Radhika Anilkumar and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Uttaresh.V

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