William Hill owner 888 Holdings rejects £700m Playtech takeover

Lea Hogg 2 months ago
William Hill owner 888 Holdings rejects £700m Playtech takeover

888 Holdings, the owner of William Hill, turned down a £700 million takeover offer from Playtech earlier this summer. Playtech’s written indicative approach, valuing 888 at 156p per share in July, was rejected for allegedly undervaluing the company. Since the rejection, 888’s shares have seen a significant decline to just 70.6p per share, slashing the operator’s overall value to around £300 million.

Lord Mendelsohn faces pressure

This turn of events puts added pressure on 888 Chairman Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn, who has presided over the notable decrease in the company’s share price. Mendelsohn, who also served as interim CEO for the majority of the year after the sudden departure of Itai Pazner in January, oversaw a period of internal compliance issues that led to Pazner’s exit.

Despite Mendelsohn handing over the CEO role to former Fortuna boss Per Widerström in October, 888 still experienced a slide out of the FTSE 250 index. Notably, 888 had acquired William Hill from Caesars Entertainment for almost £2 billion in 2022, while Playtech, primarily a B2B provider, owns the Italian B2C betting giant Snaitech.

DraftKings withdrew from deal

The Sunday Times reported that Playtech had envisioned integrating 888’s brands with Snaitech, possibly resulting in a spin-off of the B2B arm and generating approximately £170 million in cost savings.

In a previous development earlier this year,US market leader DraftKings had engaged in early-stage talks with 888 shareholders for a potential all-stock takeover. However, DraftKings withdrew from the discussions when 888’s operating license came under review by the UK Gambling Commission.

As of the latest trading information, 888 Holdings plc (888.L) is currently trading at GBp82.99, reflecting a 17.55 percent decrease.

The rejection of the Playtech takeover bid and subsequent share price decline mark a pivotal moment for 888 Holdings, as stakeholders closely watch the company’s future moves in the dynamic iGaming landscape.

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