888 Holdings awaits shareholder decision on William Hill takeover deal
888 Holdings, the largest gambling operator, has published data on the progress of the deal as part of the acquisition of William Hill. In the report, the company spoke about development prospects and risk factors.
It should be noted that the shareholders of the company have not yet given a positive decision, despite the approval of the Board of Directors. The next meeting is scheduled for May 16. According to its results, in the event of a unanimous decision in favor of the acquisition, 888 Holdings expects to close the deal in the first half of 2022.
Earlier, online betting group 888 Holdings reached an agreement with Caesars Entertainment to cut the value of William Hill’s international business, which it agreed to buy six months ago, to £250m (€300m). In September, when the acquisition was announced, 888 Holdings agreed to buy the assets for an enterprise price of £2.2 billion (€2.641 million). However, it is now reported that this value has been reduced to a range of 1,950 to 2,050 million (2,341 to 2,461 million euros).
Similarly, the agreement with Caesars also reduces the amount payable in cash from €834.9m (€1,002m) to €584.9m (€702m). If certain Adjusted Gross Operating Profit (Ebitda) targets are met in 2023, 888 Holdings will pay an additional €100 million (€120 million). After the deal was renegotiated, 888 Holdings’ price on the London Stock Exchange jumped 30.1% to £2,518 a share from £1.92 at Wednesday’s close. However, he lost some strength for the remainder of the session, dropping to around 2.31 pounds.
The joint venture’s revenue in 2021 would be £2,100m (€2,521m) on an adjusted gross operating result (Ebitda) of £437m (€525m). Their combined workforce is about 12,000 employees.
Jonathan Mendelsohn, Chairman of the Board of 888 Holdings, believes that the merger of the two largest companies in the betting industry creates a new “world leader in gambling”. The company expects to scale up its operations, diversify its product portfolio and take a leading position in key markets.
888 Holdings continues to take the natural and necessary steps to complete the acquisition of William Hill. The company has just submitted a prospectus along with a circular to all of its shareholders in which they explain in detail the characteristics associated with the acquisition of a UK company.
Among the items included in this report, highlights are those related to risk factors, acquisition acquisition information, industry research and underlying regulation, or capitalization and debt of the target company. In addition, the document includes notice of the next Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss acquisition approval, which will be held on 16 May at 10:00 am in the United Kingdom.
Key moment of preparation
The company confirmed that it has received all mandatory clearances from antitrust and gambling regulators, which means that these important conditions have been met in order to proceed with the acquisition. Along with efforts to complete this acquisition in the first quarter of 2022, the company has also focused on planning for its integration, which is proceeding at a rapid pace. 888 Holdings has appointed Guy Cohen as Senior Vice President, Director of Integration, who will work alongside William Hill’s senior team to prepare for the integration.
Several conditions remain for completion, most notably shareholder approval of the 888 ordinary resolution at the 888 General Meeting. The Group currently plans to issue a combined circular and prospectus for the acquisition and capital increase, including a call for a General Meeting in early 2022.
Completion of this acquisition is also subject to FCA approval of the re-admission of 888 shares of common stock to the Official List premium trading segment and approval by the London Stock Exchange of re-admission to the main tradable market, as well as the reorganization of the William Hill group to spin off the US market.
What does Itay Pazner say?
Itay Pazner, CEO of 888 commented: “This transaction will create one of the world’s leading groups of online betting and gaming at a higher level, with cutting-edge technology, greater diversification and a massive growth platform supported by a catalog of iconic brands. The appointment of Guy Cohen to the critical role of Senior Vice President, Director of Integration also reinforces our leadership and commitment to this important process as we strive to bring the significant experience and talent of both businesses to the benefit of the combined group.
I am pleased that we have reached some important milestones to complete the acquisition. Given the great progress we have made, we expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2022 and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we bring together two powerful and complementary businesses.”