888 shareholders overwhelmingly approved the company’s decision to acquire William Hill’s non-US assets in a blockbuster deal worth £1.95 billion ($2.34 billion USD) from Caesars. It’s a big move that greatly enhances 888’s footprint in the UK market, and puts a few billion extra dollars into Caesars’ coffers.
The deal has been in the works since September 2021, shortly after Caesars purchased William Hill, in its entirety, for $2.9 billion. William Hill had been running Caesars’ sportsbooks for quite some time and the company was looking to fold in that part of the company into the larger enterprise. But William Hill, one of the UK’s biggest operators, also possessed a huge UK operations that includes retail betting shops, that Caesars simply wasn’t interested in keeping.
Because William Hill’s UK assets are actually larger than 888’s, under UK rules the deal was considered to be a “reverse takeover” and required approval from 888 shareholders. Those shareholders (with one vote per share) overwhelmingly approved the deal by a 99.7 percent margin.
In a statement reported on by iGamingBusiness.com, Lord Mendelsohn, non-executive chairman of 888 Holdings, commented on the deal saying, “We are delighted with the support of our shareholders for our proposed acquisition of William Hill and would like to thank them for their continued, constructive engagement as part of this process. We look forward to completing this transformational acquisition at the end of June, creating a global online betting and gaming leader through the combination of two highly complementary businesses and two of the industry’s leading brands.”
The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of June.