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William Hill, 888 and Rank Group Potential Merger on the Table

Tom Lasten 27 July 2016 - 02:46:47
William Hill, 888 and Rank Group Potential Merger on the Table

William Hill has been informally approached by both 888 and Rank Group about a possible merger of the three online gambling firms into one bigger online gambling entity. This news comes a few days after William Hill’s Chief Executive James Henderson stepped down after failing to aid the struggling firm’s profits in the online arena since his appointment back in 2014.

William Hill deal with 888 and Rank Group is ‘highly preliminary’ according to spokesman

“This new deal would potentially make the combined group the largest UK bookies, which could counter the effects of the Gala Coral/Ladbrokes merger”

UK bookmaker William Hill are willing to listen to any proposals that 888 and Rank Group have, however it has issued a statement in which it states it is unsure whether a combination of the three groups would constitute “superior value” and have stated the whole offer was “highly preliminary”. Rank Group and 888 have stated that there is “no certainty that any transaction will take place” but that they see “significant industrial logic” in the merger. Upon news of the situation, William Hill shares rose by 4.8% while shares in 888 rose 3.4%.

The bid comes after a failed attempt by William Hill to acquire 888 casino last year in what would’ve been a £720m deal. At that time 888 rejected William Hills offer as “too low”. This new deal would potentially make the combined group the largest UK bookies, which could counter the effects of the Gala Coral/Ladbrokes merger and also newer threats like the Betfair/Paddy Power merger.

Profits drop and mobile app receives bad response despite William Hill boss James Henderson’s appointment in 2014

william hill james hendersonEx William Hill Boss James Henderson

William Hill boss James Henderson stepped down a week ago after only less than 2 years as the companies Chief Executive. He failed during his tenure to revive the companies struggling online business and has been replaced temporarily by finance chief Phillip Bowcock. In May this year it was revealed that William Hill’s net revenues had dropped 11% for its digital business division and that William Hill shares had dropped by a further 21% since the start of 2016.

Even the launch of William Hill’s smartphone app on iOS, Android and Windows phone in 2015 was uneventful, with the app itself suffering from glitches and bugs on release. The app is even available on Apple Watch, one of the first of it’s kind. The company has gone on to assure its investors, who have had their confidence badly shaken recently, that it will achieve its projected annual operating profits of between £260-£280m.

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