William Hill Halts 888 Takeover Bid
BBC News reported that the final offer from William Hill was somewhere in the neighborhood of £744m ($1.1 billion USD). That offer valued each 888 share at about 200 pence.
That apparently wasn’t quite enough to please one of 888′s key stakeholders, who was looking for something more like 300 per share. According to BBC, that key stakeholder was the Shaken family, 888′s founders.
In a statement to the press, a spokesman for 888 has this to say about the deal’s demise:
Due to a significant difference of opinion on value with a key stakeholder, it has not been possible to reach agreement on the terms of a possible offer and the board of the company has agreed with William Hill to terminate discussions.
That, “significant difference of opinion,” had a big impact on 888′s shareholders; including the Shakuds.
Last week 888 share prices jumped by a sweet 20% as news of the potential deal spread. Once the deal tanked, 888 shares dropped a full 14%. (Still not a bad profit for nothing, but not as good as it could have been.)
William Hill stock, on the other hand, remained relatively unaffected by the news; rising just 0.6% on the news.
888 CEO Brian Mattingley took the day’s events in stride telling CalvinAyre.com:
The company is in good health and continues to trade comfortably in line with expectations,” said 888 CEO Brian Mattingley. The company will announce its full year results on 24 March 2015 and the board of the company looks forward to the future with confidence.
So far there’s no word as to whether or not William Hill will make another run at 888.