William Hill Mulls Buyout of Playtech SharePublished October 23, 2012 by OCR Editor
William Hill will decide next month on whether to active call option on joint venture
William Hill is considering activating a call option for Playtech's 29 percent shareholding of joint venture William Hill Online, in a move that would see the British betting operator take over full control of the web division.
Latest William Hill Online Developments
William Hill has until November to activate its call option for Playtech's share, in a move that experts estimate will be worth anywhere between £300 million to £500 million. Both sides must appoint a bank to decide on a price, and a third party will be called in only if there is a significant gap between their respective evaluations.
In a busy week for William Hill Online, the company announced that Henry Birch would step down as CEO effective immediately, to be replaced in day-to-day operations by current managing director Andrew Lee. The company said that it parted company with Birch by mutual consent.
Turbulent Times Between Online Gaming Partners
Hill's announcement last week continues the division between it and Playtech. WH is seeking to end Playtech's veto over new acquisitions, and has been trying for some time to receive a commitment from the gambling software developer not to work with Ladbrokes - Hill's main British gambling rival.
Earlier this year, William Hill applied for an interim injunction to stop Playtech from selling its share in WHO. Later on William Hill Online as forced to withdraw from a deal to purchase mobile betting operator Probability, after Playtech opposed the sale and imposed its veto.
Profits continue for gambling operations
Also last week, William Hill announced a 26% year-on-year increase in operating profit in the third quarter, thanks mainly to a big summer of sport including the 2012 London Olympic Games and Euro 2012. The online division's operating profits boomed the most, rising 42% during the aforementioned three-month period.