Apollo ends interest in William Hill buyout but observes Caesars’ developments

New York private equity fund Apollo Global Management has terminated its pursuit of a William Hill Plc buyout.  

This morning, Apollo stated that it would not disclose any formal bid for William Hill to rival the £2.9 billion cash offer made by Caesars Entertainment – a deal which has been accepted and recommended to shareholders by William Hill’s board of directors.

Obeying City laws, William Hill had set a deadline of 12 November for Apollo to submit a counteroffer which would be reviewed against Caesars’ proposals. 

Writing to investors, William Hill Chairman Roger Devlin had formally recommended Caesars’ offer as the ‘superior bid’, in which the company would secure its foundations to lead its aggressive US growth plans.

Furthermore, a Caesars tie-up was underlined as critical in the formation of William Hill’s high coverage, multi-state media partnerships with US sports broadcasters ESPN and CBS Sports.

Further deal developments, saw William Hill communicate this morning that, Caesars had stated its “intention to seek suitable partners or owners for William Hill’s businesses in the UK and other non-US international markets”.

Industry observers are monitoring how Caesars will choose to divest William Hill’s non-US assets, in which a raft of suitors including Apollo, Betfred and 888 Holdings have stated their intent to pick-up the heritage bookmaker’s ‘deal offcuts’.

During 2020, Apollo has actively targeted a number of gambling investments and M&A deals amid a covid disrupted global business landscape.

November trading has seen Apollo engage in back-to-back investments with the PE fund supporting Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group with €500 million to fund its global M&A opportunities and agreeing to acquire Canadian casino and hospitality Great Canadian Gaming for $2.1 billion.

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