Hedge funds have begun buying shares in William Hill, as the final judgement on the takeover of the British bookmaker by Caesars continues to be delayed.
Caesars Entertainment’s $2.9 billion takeover bid was first disclosed on 30 September 2020 and recommended by William Hill’s board to shareholders. This initial offer represented a bid of £2.72 per share, countering a rival offer from equity firm Apollo.
It was later confirmed in early March that the firm would delist from the London Stock Exchange on 1 April, with all FTSE share transactions due to be cancelled by 6 April.
William Hill’s board previously announced that it would publish a new document providing full details of the takeover timetable and regulatory developments for its investors.
However, two William Hill investors, GWM Asset Management and HBK Capital Management, had formally objected to the finalised deal terms, stating that they weren’t given enough information by the board of the FTSE-250 board at the time of the shareholders decision.
According to This is Money, sources in the City reported that hedge funds including Sand Grove, TIG and Melart have been purchasing stakes for £2.75 a share, more than Nasdaq-registered and Nevada-based Caesars initial offer.
The outlet also stated that analysts predict that a market rally since the deal with Ceasers was reached may drive share prices to £4.90 if it fails.
In addition to failing to confirm a final judgement regarding the Caesars takeover, William Hill has also made no update on its financial calendar post-March 2021.
The operator’s last trading report highlighted 2020 as a ‘challenging but transformative year’, recording a full-year net revenue decline of 16% to £1.3 billion on the 2019 figure of £1.5 billion.
However, the company found success via its online verticals, maintaining a 9% net revenue growth to £802 million, despite the imposition of temporary compliance controls by the government’s of the UK, Sweden, Italy and Spain.