William Hill Complete WHO Purchase Chronology

Published April 29, 2013 by OCR Editor

William Hill Complete WHO Purchase Chronology

Follow a timeline of events as they happened in troubled online joint venture.

William Hill has completed its £424 million purchase of Playtech's 29 percent share in their William Hill Online joint venture, closing the book on what had become an increasingly troubled relationship.

Below is a timeline of how one of online gambling's boldest partnerships began, played out, and ultimately ended.

December 2008: William Hill Online established when Playtech inject £177 million worth of assets into William Hill's existing internet operations.

February 2011: Hill takes out injunction to prevent Playtech from selling its 29% stake in their William Hill Online joint-venture. Later, Playtech uses its position within WHO to veto Hill's purchase of mobile betting operator Probability.

October 2011: Around 300 WHO online and customer service staff in Israel, Bulgaria and the Philippines temporarily walk off the job in protest at the company's alleged plans to relocate all online operations to Gibraltar.

March 2012: Officials from both sides begin talks to salvage their companies' joint venture. Playtech says it is open to discussing possible structural changes and to hearing new suggestions, while Hill wants to end Playtech's veto over acquisitions and receive a commitment that it will not work with arch-rival Ladbrokes.

October 2012: Hill announces that it is considering activating its call option for Playtech's share, and three banks begin to conduct a valuation.

December 2012: Hill agrees to purchase of leading gambling and betting provider Sportingbet, but protest from Playtech threatens to block the deal.

March 2013: William Hill makes the decision to active its call option on Playtech's 29% stake, an announcement that comes fresh on the heels of its £460 million Sportingbet acquisition and the group's first steps into the burgeoning US online gambling market. One week after the announcement, Playtech and Hill rival Ladbrokes sign a deal which will see Playtech provide the gambling operator with advisory services and a full product suite.

April 15, 2013: William Hill plc completes exercise of its call option acquire Playtech's 29% stake in William Hill Online for £423.75 million, a cash-on-cash return of more than 3.5 times. Playtech receives its share in WHO profits accrued since January 1, 2013.


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