It was a rocky road to the wedding chapel, but Caesars announced yesterday that they would finally consummate their long-awaited union with British bookmaker and gambling giant William Hill. The marriage will see Caesar’s now officially part with north of $3.8 Billion to officially, once again, acquire the online and sports betting firm.
It is the perfect acquisition for Caesars Entertainment Inc, and numerous US financial companies are snapping up stocks on the NYE as William Hill’s sports betting services are surely going to spread through the US over the next few years as more US states seem willing to at least transition to online sports betting to shore up revenues that took a huge hit over the last 14 months because of Covid. As for the William Hill online casino arm of the business, Ceasars already has plenty of deals with online casinos in states where iGaming is legal, but could also expand its William Hill US casino alongside its other casinos. If that is the case, right now, the brand-new New Jersey William Hill Casino which hosts Evolution live dealer titles!
Prior to the confirmation of the latest takeover deal, William Hill and Caesars had been a relationship of convenience. Caesars previously partnered with William Hill to run its sports betting at its various properties prior to any talk of an acquisition. Yet, as William Hill stumbled through the various Covid lockdown measures by US and British governments last year, it became apparent that the firm might be in trouble.
As varied leveraged buyout firms, including most notably US-based Apollo Management, began sniffing the waters, Caesars announced in November of last year that it would consider ending William Hill’s contracts if the US-firm was not at the front of the line as it were, and then this year the deal was finally firm with the company announcing confirmation would come in Q1 of 2021!
A Takeover Not Short of Drama
The engagement between the two brands, US Vs UK, has had plenty of drama. Caesar’s original offer was generous with a 25% markup from where William Hill’s stock was trading, but many of the larger shareholders were not especially impressed. Both HBK Capital and GWM Asset Management attempted to gum up the works by filing court cases, alleging improper disclosures, and slowing things down, but the British courts signed off on the deal earlier this week!
Caesar will sell off all the non-US assets, which will still leave the company with operations in over 20 US States by the end of the year. Another 10 US states have some type of online gaming with over 20 have sports betting when combining retail stores too, and William Hill will operate in new up-and-coming states such as Arizona expected to have legislations in place and will be up and running soon.
Total legal wagering for online sports in the US this year now tops $4 billion, and with Caesars finally making its way down the altar with William Hill creating the sports betting and casino marriage made in heaven, Ceasars will now have the chance to build an enhanced relationship with sports fans via one of the biggest sports betting brands in the country, and in the world for that matter!