William Hill Rejects Latest Rank Group-888 Holdings Approach

Gambling operators The Rank Group and 888 Holdings once again hit a wall in their continued effort to allure rival William Hill. News spread earlier today that the two companies have approached the major gambling operator with a new cash-and-stock proposal, which has, too, been rejected after an original offer was made last week and turned down, subsequently.

The new takeover bid values each William Hill share at 352 pence. In other words, the whole company is valued at an approximate of £3.1 billion. Commenting on the latest offer made and explaining why they have decided to reject it, William Hill Chairman Gareth Davis said that it continued to “substantially undervalue the company.” Under the original proposal made last week, each share in the company was valued at 339 pence.

As mentioned above, the revised bid was a cash-and-share one. If it had been accepted, William Hill shareholders would have been paid 199 pence in cash and 0.86 in the merged entity. The previous offer secured shareholders in the gambling operator with 199 pence in cash and 0.73 shares in the newly formed business. That old proposal valued the company at an approximate of £2.95 billion, based on July 22 share prices.

The Rank Group and 888 Holdings confirmed that they were discussing a potential merger and takeover interest in William Hill towards the end of July. The two companies are to combine their operations into a single business – BidCo, and to make a bid to acquire William Hill.

The Rank Group has both land-based and online casino and bingo operations across several European jurisdictions. As for 888 Holdings, it is currently one of the most profitable online gambling operators with diverse offering and presence in multiple European and non-European jurisdictions. Even without William Hill as part of their combined business, the two companies will expand their global reach across all channels and across a wide number of markets.

If, however, William Hill agrees on joining forces with its fellow gambling operators, this will result in the appearance of yet another gambling powerhouse on the UK and global gambling landscape. A consolidation between the three companies will actually create UK’s largest gambling operator in terms of revenue and profits.

The Rank Group and 888 Holdings have up until 4:00 pm GMT on August 21 to approach William Hill with an official offer.

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