William Hill Shares Snapped Up By Hedge Funds Taking Advantage Of Caesars Delay

Hedge funds have started purchasing William Hill stock as the final decision on Caesars’ acquisition of the British bookmaker appears to be postponed.

The $2.9 billion takeover offer by Caesars Entertainment was first revealed on September 30, 2020, and the William Hill board of directors recommended it to shareholders. This initial offer was £2.72 a share, which was higher than a competing offer from equity firm Apollo.

Early in March, it was announced that the company would delist from the London Stock Exchange on April 1st, with all FTSE share transactions to be cancelled by April 6th.

The board of William Hill had previously stated that it would issue a new document to its investors detailing the acquisition timeline and regulatory changes.

Objections to finalised deal terms

GWM Asset Management and HBK Capital Management, two William Hill investors, had formally objected to the finalised deal terms, claiming that the FTSE-250 board had not provided them with enough details at the time of the shareholders vote.

According to This is Money, hedge funds such as Sand Grove, TIG, and Melart have been buying stakes for £2.75 a share, which is more than the Nasdaq-listed and Nevada-based Caesars’ initial bid.

Analysts expect that if the agreement with Ceasers fails, a market recovery after the deal was signed would push share prices to £4.90.

Failure to update financial calendar

Aside from failing to announce a final decision on the Caesars takeover, William Hill has also failed to include an update on its financial calendar beyond March 2021.

The operator’s most recent trading report described 2020 as a “challenging but transformative year,” with full-year net sales down 16 percent to £1.3 billion from £1.5 billion in 2019.

Despite the imposition of temporary compliance restrictions by the governments of the UK, Sweden, Italy, and Spain, the company found success in its online verticals, increasing its net sales by 9 percent to £802 million.