William Hill: have seen their competitors complete mergers in 2016
PICTURE: David Dew
By David Baxter 8:01AM 8 OCT 2016
WILLIAM HILL are the latest high street bookmaker to be involved in merger talks, continuing a trend which has dominated the sector this year.
The firm confirmed they are in talks with Canadian gaming company Amaya and in a joint-statement said a potential merger would form a “clear international leader” in online gaming.
Montreal-based Amaya operate the Full Tilt and PokerStars brands, and the statement added that a possible merger would be “consistent with the strategic objectives” of both companies.
GVC Holdings, who were a junior partner in William Hill’s takeover of Sportingbet and have subsequently taken over bwin themselves, were also mentioned as a potential suitor for Amaya, but did not feature in the statement.
In August William Hill were the subject of a merger approach from Rank Group and 888 Holdings, but rejected a bid totalling £3.6 billion, stating that it “substantially undervalues” the firm.
The bookmaker has endured a troubled year, with James Henderson relieved of his duties as chief executive in a bid to arrest the firm’s decline following a profits warning, while their half-year results revealed a 16 per cent drop in operating profit to £131.1m compared to the same period in 2015.