William Hill Share Price Spikes Amidst Merger Talks With 888 and Rank
Only a few days after sacking their Chef Executive James Henderson, William Hill has reportedly been approached by rivals Rank Group and 888 Holdings for a possible three way merger that would be worth over £3 billion.
The days of standalone operators in the UK seem to be over as mergers between formal rivals seem to be the only way forward. The merger between Paddy Power and Betfair created one of the largest gambling companies in the world with their £5 billion merger. The proposed £2.3 billion merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral is almost certain to pass the Competition and Markets Authority process according to industry experts.
The £3 billion merger of Rank and 888 with William Hill shows just how challenging the gambling market is as only last year William Hill attempted to takeover 888 but were halted at the last minute by one of 888’s founders.
The proposed merger talks have not been formally acknowledged by Rank and 888 have to formally announce their intention to make an offer by August 21.
William Hill were keeping pretty quiet about the rumors but did say they would listen and consider any proposal that would be forthcoming. 888 and Rank for their part said they see “significant industrial logic in the combination”.
William Hill have struggled over the last year mainly due to disappointing online revenues which has led to their share price falling by around 20 percent this year leaving the firm with a valuation of around £2.7 billion.
Despite the management turmoil and poor online results William Hill is still a major brand and a 888/Rank consortium acquiring William Hill would create one of the top gaming brands around.