William Hill acquires software developers Grand Parade

william-hill-grand-parade-acquisitionUK bookmaker William Hill has acquired betting and gaming digital solutions firm Grand Parade Ltd for £13.6m.

On Tuesday, Hills announced the acquisition of the software firm, which develops apps, websites and e-commerce platforms for betting, gaming and media businesses. Grand Parade has around 200 staff based in offices in London and Krakow.

Grand Parade supplies technology for many of Hills’ rivals, including Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfair. Grand Parade aided the launch of the Betfair Predicts election betting app, the new Football Pools app, Coral Bet’s in-play product, Ladbrokes’ news sites and much more.

Phillip Bowcock, who is filling in for Hills’ recently departed CEO James Henderson, said the acquisition will “rapidly ramp up the scale of our development team by backfilling existing resource gaps and also enhance our creative capabilities.”

Bowcock also claimed that the deal will accelerate Hills’ product development and support the construction of Hills’ new back-end platform, which is being handled by OpenBet, the betting technology firm recently acquired by NYX Gaming Group (with an £80m assist from Hills).

Grand Parade founder CEO Andy Clerkson said the acquisition reflected “the high regards William Hill have placed on the creative and technical expertise we have provided our customers and will continue to do so in future.” As a result of the acquisition, Grand Parade’s non-executive chairman John O’Reilly has left the company.

Hills will issue its H1 2016 results on Friday. The company’s online operations have struggled over the past year, leading to profit shortfall warnings that helped precipitate Henderson’s abrupt exit last month.