William Hill confirms Apollo vs Caesars takeover battle

William Hill has issued a statement clarifying media speculation, as city rumours intensify that the FTSE betting group is subject to an imminent US takeover.

The board of William Hill has this afternoon confirmed that it has received ‘separate cash proposals’ from US private equity fund Apollo Global Management and its current US markets strategic partner Caesars Entertainment.

William Hill issued the statement as its FTSE share price jumped 19% this morning to a year high of 305 GBX on the back of a reported bid by Apollo Global.

September trading has seen high activity on William Hill’s share price, as speculation has grown of a potential acquisition by Caesars Entertainment, with its US partner recapitalised following its $17 billion merger with Eldorado Resorts (deal completed July 2020).

William Hill states that discussions between respective parties are ongoing, in which ‘there can be no certainty that any offer or deal terms will be made’.

Under London City Code rules, Apollo Global and Caesars are required to present their firm proposals to William Hill investors no later than 23 October 2020 (28 days after today’s date).

William Hill maintains its long-term strategic objectives, in which the company has outlined US growth as its priority.

In June, William Hill completed a £225 million private bookbuild in less than 24 hours, with the transaction personally backed by Chairman Roger Devlin and Group CEO Ulrik Bengtsson as a statement of intent to support the firm’s long-term growth strategy.

Whilst William Hill accelerates its US agenda, the FTSE firm continues to restructure its UK operating units, with the company announcing this summer that it would merge its retail and online divisions.  

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