William Hill has laid out some of the rationale behind its £245m offer to acquire online casino group MRG, the parent company of Mr Green in its offer document to shareholders.
The company believes that the acquisition will give William Hill access to an international hub in the shape of Malta from which to drive international growth together with deeper operational expertise in new markets. It also cited the strong brands of Mr Green and Redbet which have a track record of growth across the geographic portfolio. MRG holds remote gambling licences in Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Great Britain and Ireland and expects to obtain Swedish licences by year end.
It revealed that Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill’s Chief Digital Officer, will be responsible for leading the integration of MRG within the William Hill Group as he has a strong background in working with Nordic online gaming businesses through his time at Betsson.
MRG’s online-only business will increase the William Hill Group’s share of revenue and profits from online as well as from outside the UK, and reduce William Hill’s exposure to the UK market.
Based on the first six months 2018, the transaction increases the William Hill Group’s overall online revenues from c.42% to c.47% (excluding William Hill’s US business) with the proportion of revenues from outside the UK increasing from c.14% to c.21%. Based on Q3 2018 results, MRG’s geographic revenue mix was 40% in Western Europe, 36% in the Nordics, 21% in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and 3% in other regions.
William Hill also believes that MRG has high growth potential, given that the company has historically delivered strong revenue growth across all the regions in which it operates (FY15–17: 23% CAGR), underpinned by resilient organic growth. Recent trading has continued to be robust with MRG revenue growth of 51% in Q3 2018 versus Q3 2017 and 2018 YTD revenue growth of 44% versus the same period in 2017.
The offer document was approved and registered by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Sw. Finansinspektionen) and made public today.
William Hill added that the completion of the Offer is subject to, inter alia, approvals from competition authorities in a number of jurisdictions. With reference to when such approvals can reasonably be expected, William Hill has decided to extend the acceptance period of the Offer by four working days. The acceptance period for the Offer commences on 10 December 2018 and ends on 17 January 2019.