William Hill rejects 888 and Rank's $4.16b takeover bid

Avi Shaked

The UK bookmaker rebuffed the offer as "not reflecting the inherent value of the business."

UK bookmaker William Hill (LSE: WMH) has rebuffed a $4.16 billion (£3.2 billion) takeover bid from Israeli online gaming company 888 Holding plc (LSE:888) and UK casino operator Rank Group (LSE: RNK). At £3.64 per share, the takeover offer was a 16% premium on the bookmaker's share price. However, William Hill chairman Gareth Davis said, "This conditional proposal substantially undervalues William Hill, is highly opportunistic and does not reflect the inherent value of the business."

If the deal does go ahead at some point then Rank and 888 will form a new company called Bidco to buy out William Hill.

Last month 888 and Rank issued the following statement when teaming to consider a bid. “The consortium sees significant industrial logic in the combination, through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenue and cost synergies and from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale, which will accrue to all shareholders.”

In February 2015, William Hill offered to buy 888 but the Shaked family, now the controlling shareholders in the company, held out for more than the £2 per share on offer, and today the 888 share price is worth £2.19.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 10, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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