William Hill, Playtech at Odds Over SportingbetPublished December 25, 2012 by OCR Editor
Playtech protest puts spoke in wheels of Hill acquisition of betting firm
William Hill has agreed to a £485 million purchase of leading gambling and betting provider Sportingbet, but protest from online joint-venture partner Playtech could stop the deal in its tracks.
William Hill and junior partner GVC Holdings made an offer for Sportingbet last week, following prolonged negotiations for the business involving two suitors. The deal would see Hill take over Sportingbet's coveted Australian telephone and online gambling business, plus its growing Spanish operations.
But software firm Playtech argued that the acquisition of Sportingbet would add "considerable value" to William Hill Online, in which the two are partners. It said the potential contribution of Sportingbet activities should be taken into any consideration as part of any valuation to buy its share in WHO.
Source of Discontent
The source of Playtech's discontent is its potential split from WHO. Hill took the first steps to buying out Playtech's share when it asked a group of banks to value the software firm's stake in their joint venture. The valuation is due to be delivered in February.
Should William Hill activate its call option n Playtech's 29 percent share in their online gambling venture, it would see the British betting operator take over full control of the web division, William Hill Online.