Caesars Agrees To Purchase William Hill For $3.7 Billion

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  • Caesars to purchase William Hill for $3.7 billion
  • Caesars will control William Hill’s US assets while looking to sell international assets
  • Apollo has emerged as a likely suitor for William Hill’s UK-based properties

On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment Corp. officially agreed to a deal to buy William Hill, a UK-based sports betting operator, for a total of $3.7 billion. The deal was done with an eye on expanding Caesars’ sports betting operation both in the United States.

Caesars reportedly plans to try and sell William Hill’s international operations, which includes over 1,400 betting shops in the United Kingdom. The company insists that William Hill’s US operation will be integrated into Caesars with minimal job losses, if any.

Earlier this week, Reuters announced that Apollo, a private equity group, has an interest in purchasing William Hill’s international operations. If a sale to Apollo fails to come to pass, Caesars may simply opt to auction them off instead.

Caesars Beats Apollo To The Punch

Caesars will immediately assume control of William Hill’s US sports betting and online businesses and properties. William Hill chairman Roger Devlin said, “The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders.”

Last week, William Hill said it hat received competing offers from Caesars and Apollo, but ultimately the Caesars deal won out. William Hill is expected to ask its shareholders to approve the sale, which is expected to close in the latter half of 2021.

In a statement, Devlin added, “It recognizes the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximize the US opportunity given intense competition in the US and the potential for regulatory disruption in the UK and Europe.”

Growing US Sports Betting Market

Caesars is interested in expanding its US sports betting operation as the industry continues to grow. A 2018 Supreme Court ruling struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which cleared the way for states to decide for themselves whether to legalize sports betting and open their own regulated markets. Prior to the ruling, Nevada was the only state in the US with a fully legal sports betting industry.

Since then, 18 states have opened their own sports betting markets.

Another four states have passed bills with plans to open soon, while nine others have legislation in the works with an eye on following suit within the next few years. 12 states have tried and failed to pass legislation.

Caesars and William Hill were already working together in the US on an operation that allows William Hill to accept sports wagers in-person and online at Caesars properties. There are over 50 Caesars properties scattered throughout the US. However, Caesars threatened to end that agreement if William Hill were to be sold to Apollo, who was the first company to approach William Hill about a potential takeover in August.

Caesars’ stock rose nearly 2 percent before trading began on Wednesday, up to nearly $56 a share just before 8:00 am. William Hill’s London-listed shares remained largely unchanged as of Wednesday.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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