Caesars and William Hill Hope to Complete Merger This Spring
Updated January 13, 2021
Caesars Entertainment hopes to complete its touted takeover of William Hill in the second quarter of 2021, possibly as early as March.
In a recent statement, Caesars said: "Caesars continues to progress through obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals required to close the transaction and is still aiming to complete the proposed combination in March 2021."
William Hill reaffirmed that timeline in a statement of its own on January 13, 2021.
Caesars confirmed in its December 28, 2020 statement that it has cleared the antitrust period over its pending £2.9 billion acquisition of the United Kingdom-based sports betting giant William Hill
The antitrust waiting period is a period of time during which mergers and acquisitions are examined for potential anti-competitive conflicts. It is a requirement of the terms of Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.
That period has now been cleared, and both the Mississippi Gaming Commission and the West Virginia Lottery had also signed off on the transaction. Approvals are still required from gaming regulators in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, as well as the English High Court’s final approval.
Late in 2020, William Hill shareholders voted in favour of the merger, which it called a "historic acquisition". Over 86 per cent of votes cast at William Hill’s meetings were in favour of the transaction.
Meanwhile, in its own statement, William Hill, which will publish its final 2020 results statement on Wednesday, 24 February, 2021, says a strong fourth quarter closed "an extraordinary year" for the business. Total Q4 revenue increased nine per cent and sports betting stakes surged 16 per cent, driven by enhanced products and further geographical expansion. As gross win margins benefited from favourable sporting results, group sportsbook net revenue is reported as up 20 per cent year-on-year.
However, due to the impact of the pandemic on live sport, in addition to the numerous retail shutdowns enacted throughout the year, group net revenue for the year is reported to have decreased by 16 per cent.
Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill CEO, said that "the offer received [from Caesars] for the group recognises the substantial progress we have made as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead of us."
William Hill U.S., the Las Vegas-based American subsidiary of the company, operates 12 branded sportsbooks at Caesars’ properties in Nevada, Iowa, and New Jersey. William Hill will rebrand additional Caesars sports betting facilities and launch the Caesars Sports Book by William Hill mobile app in Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada.
In total, William Hill U.S. has more than 170 retail locations across 13 states and a 29 per cent market share of the U.S sports betting business. Most of William Hill’s sportsbooks are not associated with Caesars.
Analysts have said the deal could add some US$2.5 billion in equity value to Caesars, which currently operates 54 gaming properties in 16 U.S. states.
In the U.S., William Hill is the third-largest online sports wagering company behind FanDuel and DraftKings.
SOURCE: Caesars/William Hill