William Hill betting chain up for sale

Tue, 04 May 2021 | BUSINESS SALE

William Hill has been put up for sale by American owner Caesars Entertainment just months after it took over the business.

According to Caesars, it plans to sell all of William Hill’s non-American assets including 1,400 William Hill high street shops located around the UK, with the sale of the sites expected to draw bids of up to £1.5 billion.

The shops will go up for sale in the next week, according to Caesars Entertainment, with the sale including all of the company’s European and UK internet casinos and online sports betting operations.

A number of international firms have registered their interest in the sale, including Wall Street buyout firm Apollo Global Management and Israeli gambling tycoons Shaked Ventures, better known by their operating name 888 Holdings.

Private equity firm Apollo is expected to lead the bidding war, having already attempted to buy the whole package last year.

William Hill was founded in 1934 and was one of the first UK gambling firms to arrive in the US. Its US operations have seen significant success in the last few years following a rise in gambling after a ban was lifted in 2018.

A number of US companies have subsequently sought to buy out UK gambling firms, capitalising on their expertise as sports betting begins to take off across the United States. Recent sales including the possible purchase of Gamesys by Bally’s Corporation in a deal worth more than £2 billion.

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Entain, Ladbrokes owner and a FTSE 100 firm, has also been approached this year by American casino leader MGM, although the former rebuffed the interest.

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