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Home / Business / Caesars, Apollo made a takeover offer to British gaming company William Hill

Caesars, Apollo made a takeover offer to British gaming company William Hill



British gaming company William Hill (William Hill PLC) stated that it has received acquisition proposals from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and Apollo Management International LLP. This is a global response to the growing American sports The latest sign of interest to the gambling market.

Before the pandemic, the sports betting industry in the United States was booming, and the closure of casinos for months due to social evacuations this year has highlighted the value of online sports betting by major gambling operators. According to analysts, in recent months, gaming companies have divested digital weapons and invested heavily in online gambling. Due to the impact of the pandemic on retail revenue, gambling activities have accelerated.

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William Hill, a London-listed company that has become a major player in the United States, said on Friday that it was in talks with the two potential buyers, but he warned that there was no certainty of the deal. It did not disclose the terms of the proposal. Both Caesar and Apollo declined to comment.

According to data from the American Gaming Association, as of the end of July this year, US commercial slot machine revenue was 9.24 billion US dollars, a decrease of nearly 45% compared to the same period last year, while table games casino revenue fell 46% to 2.6 billion US dollars. Industrial trade group. At the same time, sports betting revenue increased by nearly 1

9% to $394 million, and more states have legalized the industry. During this period, online casino revenue nearly tripled to $778 million.

Since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling paved the way for states other than Nevada to allow sports betting, 22 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting. At the same time, a few states have legalized online casino gambling. Analysts expect that the roster of states that welcome sports and online gambling will expand in the next few years, especially when state legislators want to fill the budget gap caused by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

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On Friday, William Hill’s share price rose by more than 40%, giving the company a market value of more than 3 billion pounds, equivalent to 3.82 billion US dollars. According to British takeover rules, Caesars and Apollo must now make an offer or give up before October 23. Bloomberg reported earlier on the meeting with Apollo.

William Hill was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic this year, prompting it to permanently close more than 100 stores in the UK, which have been subject to increasing supervision and pressure to switch to online gambling.

However, in recent years, a major growth area of ​​the company is the United States, and the company has been working hard to develop the emerging sports betting market. In the first six months of this year, William Hill in the United States accounted for 7% of the group’s revenue.

By 2025, the revenue of the U.S. online casino and sports betting market is expected to grow to 18 billion U.S. dollars. The top three companies with market share will be Flutter Entertainment PLC (28%), DraftKings Inc. (20%) and Caesars (12 %). , According to Macquarie Research (Macquarie Research). Flutter Entertainment owns the betting brands FoxBet and FanDuel.

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William Hill has established a partnership with Caesars. Earlier this month, the British company stated that Caesars had signed an agreement with ESPN under which the company’s odds would be integrated into ESPN’s website and Fantasy app in states where sports betting is legal. The transaction follows a similar agreement announced in February by Will Hill and ViacomCBS Inc.’s CBS Sports, which enables the gambling company to find new customers in the media giant’s audience .

Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon said: “Integrate all these elements (good brand, good media mix, good technology) together, and I think you may end up with two Digit market share.”

DraftKings, which focuses on the digital gaming industry, has a market value of nearly US$18 billion after it went public at the beginning of this year.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming analyst Chris Grove (Chris Grove) said that now, gambling operators are considering how to release the value of their digital businesses from the pressure of retail businesses, and how to make these businesses large enough to increase competitiveness.

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Grove said: “The market is now sending a very clear signal.” “Bring us an asset that has the opportunity to become a category leader, not even a category winner, in the legal online gambling market in the United States. Rewards will be provided for you.”

Write to Katherine Sayre’s email address is katherine.sayre@wsj.com, and Ian Walker’s email address is ian.walker@wsj.com


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