Tipico, Germany’s biggest betting firm, is reported to be ‘among the frontrunners’ vying to acquire William Hill’s UK and European offcuts, put up for sale by Caesars Entertainment.
As reported by Sky News this afternoon, ‘City sources’ have disclosed that Tipico tabled a ‘credible offer to Caesars’ – who have priced William Hill’s surplus units at a combined value of £1.2-to-1.5 billion.
Tipico has joined the ever-growing raft of gambling and private equity suitors reportedly interested in acquiring William Hill, as the heritage UK bookmaker is pursued by 888 Holdings, Betfred, Apollo Global, Entain, Advent PE, BoyleSports and Kindred Group.
Though light on detail, Tipico’s potential bid will likely be funded by majority owner CVC Capital Partners, as the US fund returns to feed off gambling investments.
Maintaining a $75 billion asset under management, CVC had previously operated as the most active PE fund targeting gambling investments. Between 2014-to-2016, CVC conducted back-to-back £/€ multi-billion acquisitions of Sky Bet, Tipico and Sisal Italia, aggressively building its European gambling portfolio.
The gambling market has proved a fruitful hunting ground for CVC, who registered double-dip pay-off on its Sky Bet investment as the asset was sold to The Stars Group for £3.5 billion in 2018 – a deal which was closely followed by Stars Group subsequent £10 billion merger with Flutter Entertainment.
For Tipico, William Hill will present the firm with the fastest opportunity to diversify its business from the stringently re-regulated German gambling marketplace, in which all European incumbents have undertaken costly adjustments to align with the regulatory demands of the GlüNeuRStv regime.
The sale of William Hill takes place against the backdrop of the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act – whose outcome will impact the deemed valuation of the company.