888 anticipates closure of William Hill acquisition in Q2 2022

888 Holdings has updated that the full completion of its takeover of the non-US assets of William Hill and William Hill International will take place in the second quarter of 2022.

Additionally, Q2 2022 will also see the international gambling group publish a combined circular and prospectus for the acquisition and capital raise, with a shareholder vote scheduled to follow. 

The capital raise was previously outlined by 888 with the goal of generating £500 million of gross proceeds by issuing new equity, and is expected to be finished prior to the completion of the William Hill takeover.

888 moved into the final stages of the preparations for its acquisition of former FTSE250 retail and online betting and gaming operator William Hill last month, upon securing mandatory antitrust and pre-completion gaming regulatory clearances – however, the merger was initially predicted for Q1 2022.

Commenting on developments at the time of the regulatory approvals, 888 CEO Itai Pazner said: “This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, leading technology, increased diversification, and a platform for strong growth, supported by a portfolio of iconic brands.” 

FTSE250 firm 888 Holdings successfully secured William Hill’s non-US assets from the latter’s new owner, Caesars Entertainment – which had made its plans to sell off all of William Hill’s non-US divisions clear upon completing its own acquisition earlier in the year – with a £2.2 billion bid on 9 September.

Although 888 has now taken another step to significantly bolstering its UK and international presence by acquiring William Hill, it is unknown whether the company will continue to retain control over its new subsidiary’s extensive suite of retail outlets.

The range of betting shops reportedly still maintains the interest of Apollo Global Management – which also bid against Caesars in the initial acquisition – as well as Betfred owner Fred Done and Irish operator BoyleSports.

Meanwhile, other M&A developments concerning 888 Holdings recently saw the company sell off its Dragonfish online bingo business to Broadway Group’s Saphalata Holdings for a total consideration of $50 million, as the latter looks to focus on its US operations and other B2C assets.

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