Betfred creator Fred Done is said to be contemplating a swoop of the UK retail assets of William Hill at a bargain price, as reports swirl about how Caesars Entertainment will reshape the company after the acceptance of its £ 2.9 billion acquisition bid this morning.
Done has been branded as the Caesars deal’s major winner, having since March built a 6 percent stake in William Hill, cashing in on the pandemic fallout price of 36p per share of the FTSE betting company.
The announcement this morning that Caesars’ offer was accepted by the William Hill administration will see Done pocket a reported £ 170 million, sparking reports that Betfred could intend to acquire the retail portfolio of William Hill.
William Hill has been forced to significantly reduce its retail property and reconsider its UK strategy after the implementation of the £ 2 FOBT stake reduction by the UK government in April 2019, incurring an impairment charge of £800 million on the 2019 accounts of the group.
Caesars executive team is stated to support the bookmaker turbocharging its ambitious sportsbook expansion through all controlled US states, through which an enlarged Caesars has secured the largest domestic casino footprint having completed its $17 billion merger with Eldorado resorts, yet to issue a transaction prospectus on how it will absorb William Hill ‘s properties.
Caesars’ focus on creating the first mass-market sportsbook for US wagering may see the casino giant offload the entire UK business of William Hill, both retail and online.
The FTSE betting company has regained its online growth momentum under the stewardship of Group CEO Ulrik Bengtsson since taking the leadership of William Hill just over a year ago.
An offload of the online arm of William Hill would appear to potential private equity investors as an enticing opportunity, retaining the presence of the company in the lucrative yet consolidated online gaming space of the UK.
The announcement this morning finally sees William Hill safeguarding its future after months of corporate speculation about possible bids, mergers and acquisitions, as Hills undertakes its US makeover.