Entain’s interest in William Hill’s non-US assets, according to Gaming Economics CEO Lee Richardson, is an “unexpected development”. It believes UK regulators will almost certainly have something to say about a potential deal.
Entain, the operator, has emerged as a potential buyer of William Hill’s non-US assets. It was months after the company rejected a takeover bid from MGM Resorts International in January.
But Richardson told Gambling Insider: “This news is a quite unusual development. Most industry observers assumed a sale by Caesars’ of William Hill’s ex-US assets would most likely break up the online and retail arms to prevent possible market competition or issues and help expedite a deal.
888 Holdings and Apollo Global Management, according to Richardson, are still very likely bidders for William Hill’s assets. It might lead to a bidding conflict with Entain.
“888 was asked about the likely interest level in the ex-US William Hill assets. And they certainly did not rule out the possibility of taking on both the retail and non-retail assets,” he explained. For that bidder, there may be fewer market or competition issues.
“However, we may have another bidding war on our hands involving Entain, in addition to the current battle down under for the Tabcorp betting assets that may be up for sale.”