William Hill Seeking to Acquire Mr Green in £241 Million DealPublished October 31, 2018 by Lee R
With the UK cracking down and the US opening up, William Hill is making a bold move.
A major new acquisition is on the table to bring Sweden-based online betting provider Mr. Green and Co under the umbrella of bookmaker William Hill in a £241 deal.
The William Hill group further indicated an offer of 69 Swedish krona (£5.90) in cash per share on the Stockholm stock market, representing a 48.5% premium on its closing price on October 30.
Mr. Green Portfolio
Mr. Green has a vast portfolio across 13 markets with brands such as Redbet leading licenced operations in Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the UK and Ireland, with the Sweden licence expected by year's end.
The firms called the deal under negotiation a pan-European footprint in online betting and gaming markets establishing a “strongly positioned combined business” operating in the UK and the US.
Benefits for WH
William Hill said takeover benefits would include increasing revenue and profit shares from both online and external market activity outside the UK, while reducing exposure in the UK.
Hill CEO Speaks
William Hill CEO Philip Bowcock called the deal an acceleration of “the diversification of William Hill – immediately making us a more digital and more international business.”
Mr. Bowcock further suggested that “Mr Green will provide William Hill with an international hub in Malta, with market entry expertise and strong growth momentum in a number of European countries,” transforming the William Hill brand “from a single brand to a suite of brands that can maximise growth opportunities moving forward in new and existing markets.”
The prospective new holding in Europe would be the perfect complement to the William Hill expansion strategy, after establishing terra ferma in the United States with a new deal with US casino giant Eldorado.
Overseas expansion serves a key purpose in today's market of offsetting internal UK market crackdowns on fixed-odds betting terminals which have cut into UK licencee revenues.
The UK Exposure Issue
British gambling groups have been increasingly turning to overseas expansion as a way to offset the recent blow from a UK Government crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals, with the Hill entry into the US keeping pace with Ladbrokes GVC's recent venture with MGM Las Vegas.
Moving forward, it will be telling to learn how if William Hill can ink the deal and continue to diversify and strengthen its holdings in Europe as well as the US, and what measures more UK operators make to protect themselves from exposure to more crackdowns.