William Hill Spends $649 Million to Reacquire Online Stake

by , Apr 29, 2013 | 10:00 am

williamhillWilliam Hill Plc said Monday that it has completed its $649 million acquisition of the 29 percent stake in William Hill Online held by gaming software firm Playtech Ltd.

Playtech also will receive its share of profits in William Hill Online that have accrued since Jan. 1, an amount to be disclosed at a later date.

“William Hill Online has consistently delivered strong net revenue growth since it was formed in December 2008,” CEO Ralph Topping said in a statement Monday. “We are pleased to be assuming full ownership of this attractive, high growth, high performing business.”

William Hill Online posted net revenues of $621.62 million last year.

Playtech paid about $250 million for its stake in William Hill Online. In return, the Israeli company provides software for the online casino and poker games, and the personnel to market the website.

Playtech’s software agreements with William Hill Online will continue, the company said.

William Hill was licensed in Nevada in June , after it spent $49 million to acquire American Wagering Inc., Brandywine Bookmaking LLC in Las Vegas and Club Cal Neva’s sports book operations statewide.

Its U.S. bookmaking business — William Hill U.S. — operates 160 sports books and kiosks in Nevada, along with sports betting apps for smartphones. The Las Vegas-based company also is the risk manager for the Delaware Lottery’s wagers on National Football League games using parlay cards.

William Hill Online has filed a license application in Nevada.

The bookmaker is expected to report strong profits on Friday; the first seven weeks of this year are expected to show online and betting shop revenue increases of 30 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The Playtech acquisition is William Hill’s second deal to close within a month. In March, William Hill and GVC Holdings Plc completed their takeover of rival Sportingbet Plc for nearly $854 million.

William Hill acquired Sportingbet’s assets in Australia and Spain. The bookmaker has gaming operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, Bulgaria, Israel and the Philippines.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal. com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.
Copyright 2013 Stephens Media Interactive GamingWire.

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