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William Hill’s Sportingbet Plans Challenged

Deal Agreed But Playtech Lays Claim To Some Of The Action


William Hill and GVC have agreed to buy Sportingbet for £454 million, down for the initial amount of €530 million as a result of recent poor results at Sportingbet.

William Hill will take on Sportingbet’s Australian operation as part of its strategy of international expansion as well as the “miapuesta” brand in Spain.

Chief Executive of William Hill, Ralph Topping, said, “We are pleased to reach agreement with the Board of Sportingbet, who unanimously recommend our joint offer. This acquisition not only highlights William Hill’s commitment to grow further internationally into regulated, high growth markets such as Australia, but also supports our strategic aim to diversify revenue sources into new territories and through greater multi-channel usage.

“Our unique combination with GVC provides a complete solution for Sportingbet and its shareholders and we look forward to working with the management and employees of Sportingbet in Australia and Spain to combine our joint experience and expertise to create additional value for our customers and shareholders."

However William Hill’s online partner, Playtech, has chimed in stating it should share in the benefits of the takeover.

This unwanted complication has not gone down well at William Hill, which is in negotiations to buy Playtech out of their joint venture. A spokesman for the company told Reuters, “Playtech have [sic] no rights to a business that is not part of William Hill Online and therefore this has absolutely no effect on any valuation".