Caesars’ William Hill acquisition to close on 22 April after High Court approval

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Caesars Entertainment’s acquisition of British operator William Hill is set to close on Thursday (22 April) after the High Court of Justice in England and Wales sanctioned the acquisition.
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The deal was agreed in September 2020 – after William Hill chose the £2.9bn (€3.39bn/$4.03bn) Caesars bid over a rival offer from Apollo Global – and will see Caesars purchase William Hill’s 1.08bn shares for £2.72 apiece.

Caesars said the target of the acquisition is William Hill’s US betting business and technology, with the rest of the operator’s assets set to be sold.

Although initially scheduled to close on 1 April, it faced a legal challenge from investment management fund HBK Investments.

HBK argued that shareholders were not correctly informed of the details of the deal. In particular, HBK’s concern dealt with William Hill’s 2019 joint venture agreement with Eldorado Resorts, which later acquired and rebranded as Caesars.

HBK argues that Caesars’ ability to restrict counterbidders under the terms of this agreement was more limited than the scheme documents suggested.

Although the scheme court hearing to approve the deal was initially scheduled for 31 March, HBK’s objection saw the deal delayed for three weeks.

However, following High Court approval, the deal may now go ahead this week.

Tomorrow (21 April) will be the last day of trading of William Hill shares, which will then be de-listed and suspended before the market opens on 22 April.

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