Operator giant Entain is considering a bid for William Hill’s non-US assets, months after the operator rejected a takeover bid from MGM Resorts International in January, as reported by Bloomberg.
Earlier in April, William Hill was acquired by Caesars Entertainment for around $4bn, though Caesars and its partners are open to selling William Hill’s non-US assets within 12 months to pay down a $2bn debt.
And Entain has now emerged as a potential bidder. By acquiring William Hill’s local assets, the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral will gain further market share in the UK, as well as William Hill properties outside of the UK.
However, with such a large market share, Entain could run into some regulatory issues when or if it takes over all of William Hill’s non-American assets.
Recently, Entain took over Swedish betting company, Enlabs AB, and is also exploring the option of taking assets off Australia’s Tabcorp Holdings in what could be a $2.7bn deal.
According to reports, Apollo Global Management is also interested in William Hill’s assets, and could be the leading candidate according to those close to the deal.
Apollo and Entain are currently battling it out to successfully bid for Tabcorp assets, but this is one battle where analysts feel Entain has the upper hand, due to Apollo’s inexperience in racing.
It seems the William Hill assets could launch a new bidding war between these two companies and even more, as it is rumoured operator Betfred is also interested.
Betfred has a strong retail presence in the UK, while it bought a number of shops when Ladbrokes merged with Coral to avoid a monopolistic situation.
In addition, Founder Fred Done recently made a significant profit when purchasing, then selling, what were initially undervalued shares in William Hill.