Caesars takeover of William Hill set to go ahead after antitrust period cleared

The antitrust period for Caesars Entertainment’s takeover of bookmaker William Hill has been cleared, it was revealed this week.

In a statement, the Nevada-based casino operator commented: “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.”

The antitrust waiting period is a space of time when mergers and acquisitions are examined for potential anti-competitive conflicts, and is a requirement of the terms of Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976,

In addition, the Mississippi Gaming Commission approved the proposed combination on 19 November, followed by the West Virginia Lottery on 16 December.

However, the transaction still requires the approval of the English High Court as well as administrative and post-closing approvals from other US agencies.

A variety of American state gaming commissions have yet to approve the combination, including the Indiana Gaming Commission, Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada Gaming Commission, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Just over a month ago William Hill shareholders voted to approve the Caesars takeover, described as a ‘historic acquisition’.

The British firm’s shareholders have approved the recommended 272p cash offer from Caesars by the requisite majorities, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining outstanding regulatory conditions and final approval of the English Court.

Over 86 per cent of the votes cast at William Hill’s meetings were in favour of the £2.9bn transaction.

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