British Giant Pays $636 Millions

25 February 2013 – By Huseyin Yilmaz

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William Hill is one of the largest bookmakers in the United Kingdom, operating worldwide and offering online casino products to millions of customers all around the world. William Hill Online represents a joint venture with Playtech, another important name in the online casino business, which has been lasting for a couple of years. Recently, William Hill PLC announced they will exercise their call option to acquire Playtech’s 29 percent stake in William Hill Online. Playtech’s share will be acquired for approximately £424 million and William Hill must complete the deal by the end of April 2013.

The British giant’s decision to exercise option on online gambling joint venture ends a mutually beneficial but often problematic relationship over the past few years. UK’s largest bookmaker has rejected a claim by joint venture partner Playtech that it should share the benefits of the takeover of online gambling group Sportingbet. This is one of the reasons why Hill had been seeking for some time to end Playtech’s veto over new acquisitions. Besides that, the potential partnership between William Hill and its main British gambling rival Ladbrokes proved to be another source of discontent. This latest announcement comes fresh off the back of Hill’s first steps into the burgeoning US market, which Hill’s CEO, industry insiders and online casino market analysts believe holds unlimited opportunities for the online gaming market.

William Hill is aiming for the sky as the company’s CEO said in the announcement that in a five year time frame, William Hill should be a £5 billion company. This figure would enable Hill to enter the Financial Times 500 of the world’s largest companies by market capitalization. The CEO also announced the company will not make any more large scale acquisitions in the near future. William Hill will focus on closing smart and targeted short-term deals, as it expands its business in the US gambling market. Also the gambling giant wants to grow on the continent in which it has had its most success, which is Europe. Therefore, online casino fans can expect more and more exciting new services and products from William Hill.

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