William Hill in '£4.5 billion' merger discussions with owner of PokerStars

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 | MERGER

William Hill, one of UK’s leading betting companies, is in discussions over a merger with the owner of Full Tilt and PokerStars. The deal could be worth approximately £4.5 billion.

The potential merger between William Hill and Amaya comes after the collapse of a potential £3 billion merger with William Hill and 888 Holdings and Rank back in August.

Amaya is listed on the Canadian stock exchange as well as the Nasdaq. Over the past year, its shares have seen a rise of a third, valuing the company at $2.4 billion (£1.9 billion). Conversely, William Hill shares are down by a quarter since January, leaving the betting company valued at just under £2.6 billion.

In what has been a challenging year for William Hill, profits have fallen by 16 per cent to £131.1 million. Interim chief executive, Philip Bowcock, attributed this to continuing issues with its online business.

This is not the first merger to happen between two betting companies this year. In July, Ladbrokes and Coral merged in a £2.3 billion move, while Paddy Power and Betfair completed their merger in February and has since joined the FTSE 100.

The merging of William Hill and Amaya would see the company enter the list of biggest companies listed in London and would save the two companies an annual saving of around £100 million a year.

In a statement, a spokesperson for William Hill said: “The potential merger would be consistent with the strategic objectives of both William Hill and Amaya and would create a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino.”


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