Caesars Completes Purchase of William Hill for $4 Billion
Caesars Entertainment announced Thursday that it has completed its acquisition of UK-based sports betting company William Hill for approximately $4 billion. A ruling by the High Court of Justice in England and Wales on Tuesday cleared the way for the deal to be finalized.
Caesars now owns of one of the world's leading betting and gambling companies. The combined companies currently operate sports betting in 18 jurisdictions in the U.S., an industry-leading 13 of which offer mobile sports betting.
Caesars confirmed to news outlets Thursday that Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, based in Las Vegas, would be stepping down. He had been with William Hill since 2012.
"We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of William Hill, combining two of the premier operations in the sports betting and iGaming industries under one roof," Tom Reeg, chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment, said in the news release announcing the closing of the deal. "We look forward to announcing future sports partnerships that will drive long-term growth."
Caesars said it expects to be operational in 20 U.S. jurisdictions by the end of this year. The company said it expects to provide its customers with a single-wallet offering of sports betting and online casino gaming products in the future.
The Caesars-William Hill deal was set to close on April 1 but then there was an objection by William Hill minority shareholder HBK Investments. HBK contended that information furnished to shareholders for their approval of the deal lacked important details. The UK Court ruling appears to settle that objection.
Last year, Caesars Entertainment became the successful suitor for William Hill when its offer bested rival bidder Apollo Global, a giant asset management company, on Sept. 30.
The deal took a step forward in mid-November when William Hill PLC announced shareholder approval by “requisite majorities.” At the time, Caesars said it was targeting March 2021 to complete the transaction.
Caesars-William Hill Were Already Doing Business
When the Caesars-William Hill deal was struck last year, the two companies were already closely aligned. Caesars previously owned 20% of William Hill US with William Hill sportsbooks in about a dozen Caesars casinos in several states at that time. It is now expected that all or most Caesars properties in the U.S. market will feature William Hill sportsbooks.
Meanwhile, William Hill has an extensive overseas business that was most identified by its more than 1,400 betting shops across the UK, some of which have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, betting shops were hit hard by the pandemic shutdown. It was reported when the Caesars-William Hill deal was announced that Caesars was expected to shed the overseas business, most likely through a sale.
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