888 Holdings remains committed to William Hill purchase despite delay

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Prominent online casino and sportsbook operator 888 Holdings has announced that it now intends to have completed its acquisition of the non-American assets of rival sportsbetting titan William Hill by the end of June.

The Gibraltar-headquartered firm used an official Friday press release (pdf) to declare that it remains committed to concluding the arrangement rumored to be worth in the region of £2 billion ($2.7 billion) ‘during the second quarter of 2022’ after it has first published ‘a combined circular and prospectus’ and obtained shareholder approvals.

Earlier assurance:

This statement of steadfastness from 888 Holdings comes only a month after the firm pronounced that it had already received ‘all mandatory anti-trust and gaming regulatory clearances’ concerning the envisioned acquisition. However, the London-listed operator had originally intended to close out the transaction first detailed a little over three months ago before the end of March following the completion of negotiations with American gambling giant Caesars Entertainment Incorporated, which spent approximately £2.9 billion ($3.8 billion) in April so as to acquire the whole of William Hill.

Important ingredient:

According to a source, the timeline for 888 Holdings could have been delayed due to earlier anti-trust concerns that obliged it to sell off its Dragonfish online bingo arm to the Saphalata Holdings Limited enterprise of Broadway Gaming Limited for roughly £37 million ($50 million). This particular transaction is not purportedly destined to be finalized until the second quarter of the year, after which the company will be able to freely conclude the William Hill deal.

Continuing confusion:

William Hill is responsible for an estate of over 1,400 retail betting shops spread across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom as well as the online casino and sportsbetting domains at WilliamHill.com and MrGreen.com. Nevertheless, the source explained that doubts still remain as to whether 888 Holdings will be given exclusive control over the target’s large land-based operation after the completion of its buyout with numerous other interested parties including Apollo Global Management Incorporated, BoyleSports and Betfred said to be circling.

Abiding assurance:

Itai Pazner (pictured) serves as the Chief Executive Officer for 888 Holdings and he used a November 30 filing (pdf) to pronounce that his company’s acquisition of the non-American assets of William Hill is destined to ‘create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups’. He furthermore asserted that the enlarged company will have ‘superior scale, leading technology, increased diversification and a platform for strong growth’ all backed up ‘by a portfolio of iconic brands’.

Read a November statement from Pazner…

“I’m delighted that we have now checked off a number of important milestones towards completion of the William Hill acquisition. Given the strong progress we have made we now expect the transaction to complete in the first quarter of 2022 and are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we combine two powerful and complementary businesses.”