After rampant speculation, the rumors prove true late last week after Caesars Entertainment bought William Hill for $3.7 billion.
The deal, which was announced by Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg, is expected to close sometime during the second half of 2021 following regulatory and competition approvals.
The deal essentially expands an already existing partnership between the two gambling stalwarts. Prior to the purchase, Caesars and Williams Hill were linked through a US sports betting partnership.
In a statement, Caesars outlined their strategic reasons behind the purchase, which included creation of a unified wallet and customer experience across sportsbook and casino, integrating Caesar’s 60 million customer rewards database with William Hill, enhanced market access for both companies, and increased opportunities for partnerships with media companies.
William Hill is an international business, but according to Caesars they’re only interested in the American assets and plan to sell William Hill’s non-US operations. This would include more than 1,400 betting shops William Hill runs in the United Kingdom and William Hill’s online betting portal in the UK.
There are rumors that Caesars could sell William Hill’s international operations to Apollo, a private equity group. If that rumored sale doesn’t happen the operations could end up on the auction block.
Following the sale share in William Hill (which trades on the UK stock market) hit a two-year high at 312 pence. Caesars stock price also rose following the news, up three percent in early trading.