William Hill changes investor make-up this March

Mads Eg Gensmann

London hedge fund Parvus Asset Management has reduced its stake in William Hill Plc to 4.9% (42.4 million shares) having previously held a 9.99% interest in the FTSE bookmaker.

Completing a share sale this March, Parvus significantly reduces its equity in William Hill becoming the bookmaker’s fifth largest investor.

Led by Danish financier Mads Eg Gensmann, Parvus has previously served as William Hill’s largest private investor, at one point servicing a 14% shareholding.

As a principal investor of William Hill, Gensmann and Parvus have urged corporate governance to sell the company over seeking any potential industry merger.

In 2016, Gensmann publicly criticised William Hill’s board for pursuing a three-way merger with Toronto TSX-listed Amaya Inc and FTSE competitor Rank Group Plc.

At the time, Gensmann stated that the deal was ‘simply value destroying, with no logic’, for any William Hill investor.

Parvus’ equity reduction in William Hill, has been picked up by New York hedge firm BlackRock Inc, who last week secured a 5% shareholding in the FTSE enterprise.

In 2017, William Hill changed the make-up of its investor base, with London private equity firms Silchester and Schroders, both acquiring 5% stakes as principal corporate shareholders.

Silchester, a specialist in ‘undervalued investments’ stated that it saw significant potential in William Hill’s long-term value, despite the company facing rising costs and numerous regulatory headwinds.