William Hill [LON:WMH] spoke to suitors besides Caesars Entertainment [NASDAQ:CZR] and Apollo Global Management [NYSE:APO] before agreeing a deal with the US gaming group, a source close to the situation and a source familiar said.
William Hill’s board announced Wednesday (30 September) that it had agreed to a 272p/share sale to Caesars. This followed statements last week that it had received separate takeover proposals from Caesars and Apollo.
The UK betting company received several other approaches, according to the source close, while the source familiar said other private equity funds have had talks with William Hill about making a takeover offer.
The UK-based bookmaker’s shares closed today (2 October) above Caesars’ offer price at 278p.
But, under the terms of the US joint venture (JV) between William Hill and Caesars, Caesars has the right to terminate the JV agreement should William Hill be acquired by any of a specific list of parties. Caesars has added Apollo Global Management to the list, meaning it could terminate the JV if a rival bid by Apollo were to succeed.
Caesars is free to add or substitute names on the list, meaning any rival bidder could result in the termination of the JV.
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by Deane McRobie and Amy-Jo Crowley in London, and Alan Burdziak in New York