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888 and Rank Group moot William Hill takeover

Mon, Jul 25, 11:27am by Staff Writer

William HillThe shake-up of Britain’s biggest betting firms look set to continue with 888 and Rank Group tabling a takeover bid for betting behemoth William Hill.

Online operator 888 and Rank, the UK’s biggest casino chain, said they were ‘evaluating a possible offer’ for William Hill.

It comes just days after CEO James Henderson resigned amid a series of profit warnings for William Hill, whose shares have dropped 21% since the start of the year.

“The consortium sees significant industrial logic in the combination, through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenue and cost synergies and from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale which will accrue to all shareholders,” 888 and Rank said in a joint statement after reports of their talks emerged.

Under UK law, the firms have until August 21 to either make a firm offer or walk away from the deal.

The bid is all the more remarkable considering William Hill tried to acquire 888 last year in a £720m offer.

Any merger of takeover would add to the dramatic change in the British landscape. Ladbrokes and Coral have agreed a £2.3bn merger, which has preliminary approval while Irish bookmaker Paddy Power and online operator Betfair also agreed to join forces last September.


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