Tipico, Germany’s largest betting company, is said to be “among the frontrunners” in the race to buy William Hill’s UK and European offshoots, which are being sold by Caesars Entertainment.
According to Sky News Thursday afternoon, ‘City sources’ have revealed that Tipico has made a ‘credible offer to Caesars’, who have valued William Hill’s surplus units at £1.2-1.5 billion.
888 Holdings, Betfred, Apollo Global, Entain, Advent PE, BoyleSports, and Kindred Group are among the many gaming and private equity suitors reportedly interested in acquiring William Hill.
CVC Capital Partners
Despite the lack of specifics, Tipico’s possible acquisition will almost certainly be backed by majority owner CVC Capital Partners, as the US hedge fund returns to gaming activities.
CVC had previously been the most active PE firm pursuing casino investments, with a $75 billion asset under management. CVC quickly built its European gaming portfolio between 2014 and 2016, completing back-to-back multi-billion-pound acquisitions of Sky Bet, Tipico, and Sisal Italia.
CVC has found success in the gambling business, with a double-dip pay-off on its Sky Bet investment when the asset was sold to The Stars Group for £3.5 billion in 2018 — a move that was closely followed by Stars Group’s subsequent £10 billion merger with Flutter Entertainment.
William Hill will provide Tipico with the quickest opportunity to diversify its operations away from the stringently re-regulated German gaming sector, where all European incumbents have made costly adaptations to comply with the GlüNeuRStv regime’s regulatory obligations.
The sale of William Hill occurs against the backdrop of the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act, the conclusion of which will have an impact on the company’s deemed worth.