Rank and 888 scrap William Hill takeover bid
Rank Group and 888 announced on Thursday afternoon the withdrawal of their offer to take over British bookmaker William Hill.
Rank and 888 said in a joint statement that they would walk away from a possible deal after failing to “meaningfully engage with the board of William Hill”.
On Sunday, William Hill received a revised £3.1 billion (€3.6 billion/$4.0 billion) offer from the parties, but said that the proposal “substantially” undervalued the company.
“We are disappointed that the board of William Hill did not share our vision of the combined businesses,” 888 chief executive Itai Frieberger said.
“We believe that there was compelling industrial logic for the combination of these highly complementary businesses, which in our view would have brought scale, diversification, and strong revenue and cost synergies, from which all shareholders would have benefitted.”
Rank chief executive Henry Birch added: “We strongly believe that the transaction would have created significant value for all three sets of shareholders. We and 888 are grateful for the shareholder support we have received throughout this process.”
According to William Hill, the only change to the original proposal in the second offer for the gaming operator was that its shareholders would have owned 48.8% of the combined group, up from an initial 44.6%.
Related article: William Hill rejects second bid from 888 and Rank