888 raises €700m to pay off William Hill debts
The business will offer €400m worth of notes with an aggregate principal of 7.558%, due in 2027 plus €300m at a floating interest rate, due in 2028.
These notes form part of a wider financing plan as part of the operator’s recent £1.95bn acquisition of William Hill’s non-US business, also including revolving credit facilities and bonds.
These bonds, though, were subject to some uncertainty. 888 had issued the bonds underwritten by banking giants JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. These banks then intended to sell the bonds onward to investors, but allegedly found little appetite amid ongoing uncertainty related to the Gambling Act review, which is set to have a very large impact on 888 due to its large exposure to Great Britain.
A white paper, a key next stage of the review, was expected to be completed last week, but changes in government have pushed it back further.
888 said the €700m would be used to repay “amounts outstanding under certain acquisition financing arrangements entered into to purchase” the William Hill business, as well as to repay some of William Hill’s own debts.