We learned last week that William Hill was set to sign a new £2.9 billion deal with Caesars Entertainment, beating out the private equity firm Apollo, to allow Caesars to massively expand their presence in the United States of America market. However, while everyone thought this was a sure bet, it looks like there may be a new twist in this deal as there is a new offer on the table from the Done brothers, owners of the BetFred chain.
What is the William Hill and Caesars Entertainment Deal?
It had previously looked like the Caesars Entertainment offer was a done deal, partly because they had put massive pressure on William Hill to accept the offer, or risk jeopardising the two companies’ ongoing relationship in the US market. This is a lucrative deal in the sports betting industry and particularly in Nevada, where Caesars has a 20% stake in William Hill’s betting shops.
Currently, William Hill has 170 betting stores located across 13 different US states. Sports betting outside of the state of Nevada only became legal in 2018 and acquiring these shops would allow Caesars to quickly grasp this new market, while continuing to expand, as William Hill had already cornered one third of the market.
While Caesars are excited about this new deal for their prospects in the US, it seemed they weren’t as interested in the UK side of the business, stating that they would be seeking buyers for the UK business.
What Offer has the BetFred Chain Owners Made to William Hill?
The UK press has been speculating that there may be other rival bids for William Hill, but with Caesar’s threats to their US relationship, it seemed unlikely any would be considered. However, the Done Brothers, who own the BetFred chain, have a UK bookmaker’s office network. They have now made clear that they are looking to place a bid for the 1,400 William Hill betting shops located across the UK. This is a bid that has been stepped up over the weekend and, according to the Sunday Telegraph, they may be looking to purchase the whole business. The Done brothers currently own a 6% share in William Hill, so are familiar with the business.
Not only that, Apollo, who was previously thought to be out of the running, clearly have other ideas as they are rumoured to be coming back with another bid.
Watch this space!