Despite the seeming glut of mergers taking place, British bookmaker William Hill is not ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet, it seems.
Not Taking The Offer, Yet
The UK bookmaking giant revealed that it was approached by 888 Holdings and Rank Group with an offer, but unlike other takeover bid announcements of late, William Hill was signaling a stance towards rejection to this bid, due to a basic lack of merit; however, it has not given a final answer as of the time of publishing this article.
Though appearing rudderless without a current CEO and seeing its market lead severely threatened by new “superteam” competitors, the traditional sportsbetting power company is adhering to common business sense.
No Ducats, No Sense
In a general statement, the company explained that it was "not clear that a combination of William Hill with 888 and Rank will enhance William Hill's strategic positioning or deliver superior value to William Hill's strategy."
Proper Growth Necessary
In other words, for William Hill, bigger does not necessarily mean better, explaining their reluctance to close the triad with the operators of Britain's top casino and bingohalls to form Britain's largest betting operator.
Rank, 888 Rationale
Rank and 888 indicated that the deal was set to increase revenue substantially and provide cost synergies. Obviously the plan was either not clear enough, or William Hill's shareholders do not see the gains as realistic in the incoming British market environment.
Strength in Value
Despite enhanced competition, the William Hill company still has plenty to work with. Stocks jumped 11% after the announcement to push the company's market value to 3.1 billion pounds ($4 bln), which actually dwarfs the corporate worths of 888 (844 million pounds) and Rank (986 million pounds).
Adaptation to Continue
Nonetheless, some adaptation at William Hill is not only necessary, but vital, and William Hill knows it, having recently attempted their own takeover of 888. And Thursday William Hill sacked two-year CEO James Henderson Thursday due to poor online performance, where companies such as 888 and Rank specialise.
However it looks, externally or internally, the market leader with 2,370 bookmakers on the high street offering prolific betting on traditional horse and greyhound racing as well as machine gaming certainly has the traction to do what is right for them when the appropriate opportunity develops. All is still open and a merger still might happen, despite the "frosty" Hill response as Reuters called it.