Caesars £2.9bn takeover of William Hill approved by court

Caesars Entertainment moved a step closer with its £2.9bn takeover of bookmaker William Hill on Tuesday.

William Hill operates more than 1,000 betting shops in the UK, as well as its online operation. The takeover would see the bookmaker become part of the US company, Caesars Entertainment.

HBK Europe, a minority shareholder in William Hill, contests the proposed takeover saying that shareholders voted without having the full information they needed to make an informed choice.

Shares in William Hill fell more than 2% on Tuesday following the announcement from the court case. The bookmaker released a statement; it said that the deal was likely to come into play on Thursday following its court approval. However, this deadline has now passed and William Hill has made no further announcements.

HBK Europe opposes the proposal, which was first agreed upon in September 2020. The reason for the opposition is the perceived lack of disclosure, leaving them vulnerable to unknown outcomes.

They argue that shareholders were given the vote but that they did not have enough information to make an informed decision about the merits of the proposal.

William Hill rejects these concerns. They say that the information provided to shareholders contained enough information for them to weigh up the merits of the takeover.

If the court had sided with the shareholders, Caesars Entertainment may have needed to modify its proposal to give shareholders a better offer.

The takeover is part of a wider trend of American companies tapping into the expertise of the British market. This is because of recent changes in gambling laws that have allowed for greater scope in sports betting.

 

A picture of a poster with characters from the Shakespeare play, Hamlet (to represent William) and then a second picture of a man at the bottom of a hill (to represent Hill). Together, they are William Hill.

 

 

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