Rank and 888 End Merger Bid For William Hill
Rank and 888 have withdrawn their bid for William Hill only days after it was rejected by William Hill’s board. The joint consortium of Rank and 888’s £3.16 billion cash and share proposal was spurned by William Hill who said that it substantially undervalued its business. They also rejected a revised offer on Monday stating that they saw no merit to engage in the consortium.
Responding to the double rejection Rank and 888 said today that they were not able to meaningfully engage with William Hill’s board and had not intention to making another bid. CEO of 888 Itai Frieberger said that,” We are disappointed that the board of William Hill did not share our vision of the combined businesses. We believe that there was compelling industrial logic for the combination of these highly complementary businesses, which in our view would have brought scale, diversification, and strong revenue and cost synergies, from which all shareholders would have benefitted.”
William Hill seem to have gained a lot of confidence by the failed bid and are adamant that their plans to grow globally and diversify are well on track. In fact they expecting operating profits for 2016 will be at the higher forecasts of £260- £280m. This is largely due to better than expected results from the Euro 2016 football tournament as well as increased growth from gaming machines. Following the news the share price of William Hill and Rank were down by more than 2 percent.