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NEWS 31 October 2018

MRG board unanimously recommend accepting £242.1m William Hill offer

By Tim Poole

William Hill has announced a £242.1m ($308.2m) cash offer to acquire MRG, with the MRG board of directors unanimously recommending shareholders to accept.

In MRG’s native currency, the offer equates to SEK2.81bn (SEK69 per share) and a deal is expected to be accretive to earnings for the first full year post-merger.

Among the reasons outlined for the offer by William Hill were high growth potential and international growth, due to MRG’s Malta hub.

The operator highlighted an improvement to its revenue mix, as the merger would increase its overall online revenue from 42% to 47% based on H1 results, with the proportion of international revenue increasing from 14% to 21%.

William Hill also noted MRG’s geographic revenue mix during Q3 was 40% in Western Europe, 36% in the Nordics, 21% in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and 3% in other regions.

MRG shareholders Henrik Bergquist, Hans Fajerson, Fredrik Sidfalk, Martin Trollborg, Karl Trollborg, Tommy Trollborg and Anita Trollborg have undertaken to accept and tender any of their shares in the offer, representing 40% of overall shares.

Philip Bowcock, William Hill CEO, said: "This proposed acquisition accelerates the diversification of William Hill – immediately making us a more digital and more international business.

“MRG will provide William Hill with an international hub in Malta with market entry expertise and strong growth momentum in a number of European countries. William Hill will move from a single brand to a suite of brands that can maximise growth opportunities moving forward in new and existing markets."

RELATED TAGS: Mergers & Acquisitions
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