Following a lengthy battle with the shareholders of William Hill, Caesars Entertainment has finally completed its acquisition of the popular and leading UK gambling brand. Having upped the ante to a proposed $3.7 billion fee, the deal has finally been approved. The acquisition was announced just before the weekend and should be completed before the end of March 2021.
Disgruntled Shareholders Threaten to Spoil the Party
Even though the deal has now been cleared and approved, Caesars were only able to convince 86% of the shareholders. Despite having the board’s backing, the deal was deeply divisive in the United Kingdom, where many of the shareholders are based. However, at 86%, the vote was clearly above the 75% threshold required to trigger the acquisition. All that stands in the way of the deal going through is the approval of regulatory conditions, and naturally, the approval of the UK’s courts.
The Deal Goes Through
The emergence of this acquisition comes at a time when the Reno-based giant is also looking at other firms. Caesars Entertainment recently snapped up Eldorado Resorts in a merger worth around $17.3 billion. That deal immediately catapults Caesars to the very top when it comes to being the largest casino firm on the planet.
Caesars Entertainment is not the only casino company active in the market right now. Wynn Resorts and Sands are both busy trying to snap and sell some of their operations, respectively. However, there is a shortage of buyers, with many gambling and casino companies feeling the pinch of austerity, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is not immediately clear how Caesars Entertainment has chosen to finance their acquisition of William Hill, but rival casino giants have been selling off properties to other interested parties to pave the way for purchases. For instance, Las Vegas Sands is currently believed to be on the market, as the company aims to expand its Asian enterprise.
What Happens Next?
William Hill is one of the UK’s biggest casino and sportsbook brands. It has over 1,400 retail (betting shops) in the country and is one of the leading internet casino sites. It also owns William Hill US, which is a stateside sports betting company. The acquisition has caused fury amongst British gamblers, with Caesars making no secret of their desire to dump British interests into the hands of someone else. Apollo Global Management Incorporated is thought as the likely buyer for the retail outlets and other operations.