Sportingbet spurns William Hill/GVC proposed takeover

sportingbet logo 2012Online gambling company Sportingbet has spurned William Hill‘s proposed £350 million takeover bid, shunning Britain’s largest bookmaker from acquiring a majority percentage of the gambling firm’s Australian operations.  Full details behind Sportingbet’s decision to turn down William Hill’s offer have yet to be revealed but expect an announcement, or at least an explanation this week when the company reports its full-year results this coming Wednesday.

William Hill, together with its bid partner GVC Holdings, turned in a £350 million takeover proposal that would see it acquire 52.5p-a-share of Sportingbet. Word of the deal even spurned a 16% surge in the latter’s shares sparked by rumors that a deal was imminent between all the parties involved. The supposed deal would’ve seen William Hill assume primary control of Sportingbet’s Australian operations, which accounts for the 90% of the company’s revenues. GVC Holdings, meanwhile, would take control of Sportingbet’s operations in unlicensed territories.

But all that appears to have been snuffed out after Sportingbet decided to pull out of the proposed takeover bid. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that a new deal could still be struck before the October 16 deadline, but considering the increased value of Sportingbet’s shares as a result of the talks between the companies, it wouldn’t surprise the least bit if they decided to hold out for a bigger offer from William Hill and GVC Holdings.

If this does end up being a deal-breaker, it won’t be the first time a deal fell through between Sportingbet and another bookmaker. About a year ago, Ladbrokes was in the process of taking over the company only to ditch those plans after concerns surrounding the markets in which Sportingbet operated came to light.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens between today and the October 16 deadline. No official announcement regarding a dead deal has been made so there could still be movement under the waters between the parties involved on whether a deal could be made before that carriage turns back into a pumpkin at the strike of midnight on the 16th.