William Hill governance questions ‘superior value’ of a Rank & 888 consortium bid

williamhillUpdating the market this morning, William Hill governance has stated that it will ‘listen to and consider’ any formal takeover offer put forward by the Rank Group and 888 Holdings consortium.

At present, William Hill governance has confirmed that it has received ‘a highly preliminary approach from 888 and Rank’, regarding a potential three-way merger. The operator has further informed investors and the media, that it is yet to receive any details regarding ‘price, timings, terms and transaction structure’.

On Sunday the UK gambling industry was stunned by the news that FTSE-listed 888 Holdings and Rank Group had entered ‘relatively advanced negotiations’ to form a £2 billion merger. Further news broke that the participants had formed a consortium studying a potential £3 billion bid to takeover William Hill.

Releasing a joint statement outlining their initial intent Rank and 888 governances declared that they saw a ‘significant industrial logic in the combination’.

Nevertheless, responding to media speculation William Hill governance stated that at present it was unclear whether a consortium bid could ‘deliver superior value’ as the company focuses on a strategy of ‘diversification by growing its digital and international businesses’.  

Rank and 888 governances have been issued a 21 August deadline in which to formally announce their offer for William Hill in accordance with the rules of the UK Takeover Code.

William Hill will still publish its half-year results for the 26 weeks to 28 June 2016 on Friday, 5 August.

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