Caesars Entertainment is currently readying a bid to purchase UK operator and US sports betting giant William-Hill for $3.7 billion. It’s a massive deal that would shift the tectonic plates of the US gambling market and would likely have a ripple effect in the UK as well. On Monday, officials from Caesars confirmed that they are putting together the offer to purchase the sports betting operator that’s currently running all of their sportsbooks.
If the deal goes through, Caesars will occupy some pretty prime real estate in the growing US sports betting market well beyond the states where Caesars currently operates. But the deal is not necessarily a slam dunk. According to a report from the New York Post, William-Hill has other potential suitors, including the massive acquisitions firm, Apollo Global Management.
But Caesars is doing everything it can to keep Apollo Global from getting in on the William-Hill action. This includes a threat to sever itself from its current connections to the sportsbook. Under that scenario, Apollo Global would be purchasing an asset that has been seriously diminished. The strategy, according to Stifel analyst Bridie Barrett, appears to be working, “While a termination of the relationship with William Hill under new ownership makes little business sense, it does add risk for a private equity acquisition,” he said.
But, by all accounts, William-Hill is more than happy about the Caesars offer and are optimistic about its prospects of seeing daylight. The New York Post also reports that William-Hill is recommending its shareholders accept the Caesars offer as soon as it is formally offered.