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888 has confirmed that it has entered into an agreement with Caesars Entertainment, Inc. to acquire the international (non-US) business of William Hill (“WHI” or “William Hill International”) at an enterprise value of £2.2 billion (the “Acquisition”).
The Acquisition will create a global online betting and gaming leader by bringing together two highly complementary businesses and combining two of the industry’s leading brands. The Acquisition represents a transformational opportunity for 888 to significantly increase its scale, further diversify its product mix and accelerate the upward shift of its revenue growth profile. The combination of 888 and WHI is expected to deliver significant operating efficiencies, including pre-tax cost synergies of at least £100 million per year1, leading to improved profit margins. On a pro forma normalised basis2 the Enlarged Group’s annual revenue and adjusted EBITDA in 2020 would have been $2.5bn and $464m, respectively.
The Enlarged Group will be strongly growth-oriented, benefitting from a clear scale advantage and strong product and geographic diversification. With a focus on regulated markets, it will be able to offer customers world-class products, supported by leading betting and gaming brands, driving sustained growth and shareholder value creation over the medium and long term.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Itai Pazner, CEO of 888 said: “The acquisition of William Hill International is a transformational and hugely exciting moment in 888’s history. This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, exceptional brands, increased diversification, and a platform for strong growth.
“William Hill is an iconic sports brand, making it the ideal complement to 888, one of the leading global online gaming brands. Our strategies are also complementary, being digitally-led, customer-focused, and committed to player protection and raising industry standards around safer gambling. We are also excited about the opportunities that the Retail business provides and see significant brand benefits to the Enlarged Group from its large estate.
“We have been incredibly impressed with the William Hill management team, and I look forward to working with them and the wider William Hill team to create great products for our customers, driven by best in class technology, powerful brands, and benefit from our significantly enhanced scale.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, Lord Jon Mendelsohn, Chair of 888 said: “This acquisition is an incredible opportunity to combine our world-class gaming brand with a unique and iconic sports betting brand to create a global leader in the online sports betting and gaming industry. We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products and brands across sports betting, gaming and poker, supported by top quality management talent from both businesses.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO of WHI said: “The William Hill and 888 strategies are highly complementary with an absolute focus on the product and customer experience. Scale is increasingly important in our sector and the combination of the businesses will provide a powerful alignment of brands and technology. This transaction is a testament to the progress
“William Hill has made over the last two years, our unrelenting focus on customer, team and execution and, most importantly, the dedication and commitment of William Hill colleagues. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues who have made this possible. I look forward to working with 888 as we transition to the new ownership structure.”