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American casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. completed the acquisition of British bookmaker William Hill in a £ 2.9 billion ($ 4 billion) deal.
Following the closing of the deal, William Hill retired from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, and Caesars gained full ownership and control of the operator's land and digital assets. The deal was originally announced last September, when William Hill chose Caesars' offer over a competing offer from US-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
As we previously reported at Casino Bonus Offers, the proposed acquisition overcame one final hurdle a few days ago when the UK Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to close the deal on April 22nd.
The court, which held a takeover hearing in late March, postponed the ruling for several weeks after several hedge funds holding stakes in William Hill sent letters to the board of directors alleging that the bookmaker did not disclose the "potentially important" information on the deal on the eve of the November shareholders' vote.
In his ruling, Judge Alistair Norris stated:
The transaction documentation contains sufficient information for William Hill's stakeholders to make an informed decision on the issue presented in the scheme.
Caesars said Thursday:
The addition of William Hill enables us to maximize the sports betting and online casino opportunities in the United States. The expanded group currently provides sports betting services in 18 states, in 13 of which it offers mobile betting.
Caesars also noted:
By the end of the year, we plan to start operating in 20 jurisdictions offering legal sports betting. The recently completed takeover further expands the reach of the Caesars Rewards casino operator's loyalty program, giving William Hill customers access to the program and the ability to receive tier status that they can use across all Caesars land and online properties. Also, with a strong presence online, Caesars offers generous bonuses you can take advantage of if you use Caesars casino bonus code on our website.
The acquisition of the British bookmaker also allows Caesars to offer customers the ability to place bets and digital gaming products within the group in the future.
On Thursday, the casino industry company confirmed previously announced plans to launch William Hill operations outside the US after it finalizes its takeover. The British gambling company is the third largest sports betting operator in the United States and its new owner plans to focus on further expanding its presence.
Caesars has apparently started looking for buyers for William Hill's UK retail and online gambling business, as well as its international online gambling business. Several potential buyers have already expressed interest in acquiring the non-US division of the bookmaker, including Apollo and gambling operators 888 and Entain.
It was also revealed on Thursday that changes have already begun at William Hill US, where longtime CEO Joe Asher has stepped down. This was reported by the publication of gaming news CDC Gaming Reports.