For the past few weeks there have been talks of a merger between William Hill and Amaya, a Canadian online gambling company. There has been a lot of speculation about the possible outcome of these talks.
Officially these William Hill Amaya talks have now been terminated.
A statement issued by the William Hill’s board of Directors said, “Various exploratory due diligence and other workstreams were underway but far from complete. After canvassing views from a number of William Hill’s major shareholders, the Board has decided that it will not pursue discussions with Amaya.” The statement followed discussion with major shareholders.
Parvus Asset Management own 14% of William Hill, their largest investor. They took the view that acquiring Amaya’s Poker business would weaken their own position.
Parvus Asset Management also made a statement: “We’re pleased that the board has decided to cancel the talks with Amaya, and, from our perspective, we’re looking forward to working constructively with the board with regard to creating shareholder value for William Hill owners,”
A statement released by Amaya’s, Chairman said, “Together with our financial advisors, we evaluated a wide range of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value and have concluded that remaining an independent company is in the best interest of Amaya’s shareholders at this time. The Board has full faith in Amaya’s management to execute on its strategy and objectives.”
Previously a joint statement had been released confirming a merger was being considered. The merger would have created one of the largest online gambling businesses in the world. Equally, they are already two of the major players. The merger could possibly have been a £5.7 billion deal.
The Hill Group previously rejected a joint takeover approach from the 888 Group and Rank Group in August. Last year William Hill made a £720 million sterling bid for the 888 Group.
William Hill said they would “continue to consider strategic alternatives where they have the potential to create shareholder value.”
Their share value has since increased by 1.5 percent valuing the company at around 2.65 billion sterling.
The following week it was announced that the proposed merger of Ladbrokes and Coral would proceed. This followed a combined agreement to sell off betting shops to meet CMA requirements.