News has emerged this morning that William Hill, and GVC Holdings, have come to an agreement with Sportingbet to takeover the company. Sportingbet released a statement this morning that stated the three parties had “reached agreement regarding a revised, increased proposal” that will see the entire issued share capital handed over to Hills and GVC. The new deal sees shares valued at 61.1 pence per share and values the firm at £530 million. The first offer was for 52.2p per share – Hills footing 45p – and valued the firm at the significantly lower figure of £350m.
Both sides have until November 13 to tie up the deal and the release put out by Sportingbet also states that by no means is it a done deal yet.
The reasons for the deal are obvious in as much as William Hill is clearly trying to extend their business to all corners of the globe. Sportingbet enjoys a significant market share in the Australian market and couple this with their US activities you can see they’re taking a, route to becoming established in these countries over a more lucrative trail through Asia.
It will take some time to see whether they’ve indeed paid over the odds for Sportingbet and CalvinAyre.com contributor Mike O’Donnell’s article speculated that valuation in the iGaming industry is extremely tricky. Now that both parties have settled on £530m it’s not unrealistic to think that Sportingbet’s valuation was a lot higher than that and they’ve settled on a reasonable price with William Hill.
All we can say is that there’s an easier way to global success that they so far haven’t realized – they’re in the right ballpark with Australia though. Just move a North of Australia, learn some Cantonese and watch the money roll in. Sadly, for them, being public means the closest they’ll get to this at the moment is a scabby late night Chinese near the Hampden Park bookies that Ralph Topping first took a Saturday job at.